Winter fuel payments are overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help people with their heating bills. During the particularly cold snap Britain is currently experiencing, many will pay more to keep themselves warm at home, and the winter fuel payment can be an important lifeline. Most winter fuel payments are made automatically in November and December to those who are eligible to receive one.
But if a person does not receive the state pension or an eligible social security benefit, or lives abroad, they may need to claim.
As the claim deadline is March 31, 2021, Britons only have just over a month to act, and there are certain steps to take.
A winter fuel payment can be claimed either by phone or by post, but the centre will need particular details.
Britons will need to know their National Insurance number, bank or building society details, and, if relevant, the date they were married or entered into a civil partnership.
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People will also need to say whether during the qualifying week of September 21 to 27, 2020 they were:
- In hospital getting free in-patient treatment
- In prison
- In a residential care home or Ilford Park Resettlement Home
Individuals living abroad, however, will need to pay particular attention.
This is because these people will not be able to get a winter fuel payment if they are resident in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.
The DWP states this is due to the fact the average winter temperature in these countries is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
Britons will qualify to receive a winter fuel payment if they were born on or before October 5, 1954.
In addition, they must have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 21 to 27, 2020, known as the ‘qualifying week’.
However, as aforementioned, those living abroad, as long as they are resident in EEA countries, can make a claim in certain circumstances.
This will be the case if someone has a “genuine and sufficient link to the UK”, that is to say they worked in the UK previously, or have family in the UK.
The amount Britons will receive through a winter fuel payment will vary according to their circumstances.
Any money a person receives through a winter fuel payment, though, is tax-free and does not affect any other benefits.
Britons can expect to receive anywhere between £100 and £300 as a winter fuel payment from the DWP.
For example, if someone is born on or before September 27, 1940 and lives alone, they could get £300.
Alternatively, someone who is born between September 28, 1940 and October 5, 1954 and lives with a partner under 80 could get £100.
To fully understand how much someone could get as a winter fuel payment, Britons are encouraged to visit the Government’s website for a full breakdown.
A winter fuel payment is paid directly into a person’s bank or building society account.