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Do you qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment?

Did you know that if you were born on or before 5 August 1953 you can claim between £100 and £300 tax-free, to help pay your heating bills?

The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual tax-free payment, which helps those who qualify to pay for their heating during the winter. Most payments are made automatically between November and December, with the majority of payments being made by 15 January 2018. If you are receiving a state pension or other social security benefit then you are likely to get this payment automatically. However, if you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you will need to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment.

How much you can claim depends on your circumstances during the ‘qualifying week’. The qualifying week for winter 2017 to 2018 is the 18 to 24 September 2017. 

You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • You were born on or before 5 August 1953 (this date changes every year)
  • You were living in the UK for at least one day during the week of 18 to 24 September 2017
  • You may be able to get the payment if you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country and you have a genuine link with the UK, such as having lived or worked in the UK for most of your life.


You won’t qualify if you:

  • Were in prison throughout the week of 18 to 24 September 2017
  • Were in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • Needed permission to enter the UK and you cannot claim public funds
  • Have lived in a care home for the whole time between 26 June and 18 September 2017, and received Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Lived in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain, because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.


You can’t claim the Winter Fuel Payment for 2017 to 2018 after 31 March 2018, so if you think you are eligible, it’s worth checking your status now. Find out more at