Millions of pensioners are entitled to Winter Fuel Payment to help with the cost of soaring energy bills.
If you were born before 25 September 1957 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. The amount you receive depends on your age and is worked out on a ‘per household’ basis. It’s meant to help with fuel costs but you can spend it on whatever you want.
It includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’, which is between £150 and £300. This is on top of any other cost of living payments you might get with your benefits or tax credits.
Find out more about financial support for energy costs in our guide Are you eligible for help with heating costs?
Winter Fuel Payment Explained: Who is eligible?
Winter Fuel Payment (or Winter Fuel Allowance, as it’s sometimes called) is designed to help some people aged 66 and over to pay their gas and electricity bills in the winter. The rules on who is entitled to it and how much you’ll get aren’t particularly straightforward unless you’ve been paid Winter Fuel Payment in the past, in which case you’ll automatically receive it this winter.
Winter Fuel Payment is paid to any household with someone born on or before September 25, 1957 living in it. Your household will be eligible provided that person was living in the UK for at least one day between September 18 and September 24 this year.
How much Winter Fuel Payment will you receive?
- £500 if between September 18 and September 24 you were living alone and were born between September 25, 1943, and September 24,1957 1955, or £600 if you were born before September 25, 1943 (payment includes Pensioner Cost of Living Payment).
- £250 if there are two of you who are eligible living in your household and you don’t qualify for benefits, and you and the person you live with were both born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957. You’ll also get this amount if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957 but the person you live with was born before 25 September 1943. If you were born before 25 September 1943 but the person you live with was born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957 the amount you’ll get rises to £350. You’ll receive £300 if you and the person you live with were both born before 25 September 1943.
- £500 if both you and your partner jointly claim any of the benefits, and both of you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957, or £600 if one of you were born before 25 September 1943.
- £500 if you get any of the benefits (not as part of a joint claim) if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957, or £600 if you were born before 25 September 1943.
- It is not means-tested. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have by way of savings, you’ll still receive the Winter Fuel Payment.
Do you get the Winter Fuel Payment if you’re in a care home?
Provided you were born before 25 September 1957, you will be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if you live in a care home. You’ll get either£250 if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957, or £300 if you were born before 25 September 1943.
How is the Winter Fuel Payment paid?
If you get your State Pension or other benefits paid into your bank account, that’s how you’ll receive it.
If this is the first year you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and you don’t get benefits or a state pension, or you only receive housing benefit, council tax reduction, Universal Credit or child benefit, then you’ll need to submit a claim for it by calling the helpline on 0800 731 0160. Find out more about making a claim and the information you’ll need to provide here.
When is the Winter Fuel Payment made?
The government writes to people in November and December telling them when they will receive their Winter Fuel Payment. Most payments are made automatically in November or December.
You should get your money by 26 January 2024 at the latest.
If you’ve not received a letter or payment by January, you should contact the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0800 731 0160.
Who doesn’t get Winter Fuel Payment?
Some people who live in a care home and those who don’t live in the UK at a specified date may lose out. You won’t get Winter Fuel Payment if:
- You don’t normally live in the UK during the week of the 18-24 September 2023. The rules say that you have to normally live in the UK for any day during that week.
- You have been in hospital for a year getting free treatment.
Other help with heating costs
If you’re not eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, you might still qualify for other help with your heating bills. Find out more in our guide Are you eligible for help with heating costs?
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