Winter Fuel Payment

Overview

If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you are eligible but do not get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim.

The deadline for claiming payments for winter 2019 to 2020 is 31 March 2020.

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by 13 January 2020. If you do not get your payment, call the office that pays your benefits - their details are on any letters they sent you.

Any money you get will not affect your other benefits.

Eligibility

You qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:

  • you were born on or before 5 November 1953
  • you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 17 to 23 September 2018 - this is called the ‘qualifying week’

If you did not live in the UK during the qualifying week, you might still get the payment if both the following apply:

  • you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • you have a genuine link to the UK - this is decided on an individual basis, and can include personal and family circumstances

You can not get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.

You may still be able to get Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount Scheme, even if you do not qualify for Winter Fuel Payment.

When you will not qualify

You will not qualify if you:

  • are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
  • need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can not claim public funds
  • were in prison for the whole week between 17 to 23 September 2018
  • lived in a care home for the whole time between 25 June and 17 September 2018, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance

What you will get

How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week. The qualifying week for winter 2018 to 2019 is 17 to 23 September 2018.

Any money you get is tax-free and will not affect your other benefits.

You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£200

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£300

You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£100

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£200

You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£100

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£150

You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£100

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£150

If you get certain benefits

Your payment may be different if you or your partner get one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support

You qualify, get one of the benefits and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£200

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£300

You qualify and live with someone who also gets one of the benefits

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

£200 - only one of you will get the payment

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

£300 - only one of you will get the payment

You qualify, live in a care home and get one of the benefits

(Born between 24 September 1938 and 5 November 1953)

Nil

(Born on or before 23 September 1938)

Nil

How and when you are paid

You will get a letter telling you how much you will get and an estimated payment date.

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. If you get any other benefit, you’ll get your Winter Fuel Payment at the same time as your regular payments.

If the money is not paid into your account by 13 January 2020, call the office that pays your benefits - their details are on any letters they sent you.

If you qualify and you are not getting a social security benefit (or if you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit), you will need to make a claim.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, such as a bank account.

How to claim

You usually do not need to claim Winter Fuel Payment, you will get it automatically if you are eligible.

You will need to claim it if you have not had it before and any of the following apply:

  • you do not get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit
  • you get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country

You also need to claim Winter Fuel Payment if you have deferred your State Pension, even if you had it before. You only need to do this once.

If you need to claim

You can claim Winter Fuel Payment by phone or by post.

If you have had claimed Winter Fuel Payment before, you should get it automatically from the office that pays your benefits. Contact them if you have any questions or your circumstances have changed.

Claim for the first time by phone

Call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre to claim by phone.

You will need to know:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society details
  • your BIC and IBAN numbers if you live in the EEA or Switzerland
  • the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate).

You will also need to say whether during the qualifying week of 17 to 23 September 2018 you were:

  • in hospital getting free in-patient treatment
  • in a residential care home or Ilford Park Resettlement Home
  • in custody serving a court sentence

Post claims forms to:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre

Mail Handling Site A

Wolverhampton

WV98 1LR

Send your claim to the following address if you’re in another EEA country or Switzerland.

Winter Fuel Payment Centre

Mail Handling Site A

Wolverhampton

WV98 1ZU

Report changes or cancel a claim

Contact the office paying your benefits if you’ve claimed Winter Fuel Payment before and you:

  • need to report a change of circumstances
  • want to cancel future payments
  • want to return a payment
  • want to ask a question about your payment

You must report any change of circumstances as soon as possible, as these can affect how much Winter Fuel Payment you get. For example, if you stop getting a benefit, move house or go into care.

If you cancel your payments, you can change this at any time.

Contacts

You can call:

If you do not get any of these benefits or a State Pension, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

Winter Fuel Payment Centre

T: 0800 731 0160

T: from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777

Textphone: 0800 731 0464

Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280

NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0160

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm