The winter fuel payment is an annual tax-free payment from the DWP. Anyone who is eligible can receive £100 to £300 each year.
According to the DWP, more than 11.6 million pensioners in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will receive the payments as part of a £4.5billion support package.
It means many pensioners will receive extra help in paying for their energy bills amid a worsening cost of living crisis sweeping the UK.
When will people receive the Winter Fuel Payment?
Rollout of the Winter Fuel Payment began on November 23. People will get, or may have already received, a letter telling them how much they’ll get and an estimated payment date.
According to the Government, most payments will be made automatically between November and December – with the majority of payments being made by January 12, 2023.
If people do not get their payment, or their letter they should contact the Winter Fuel Payment centre.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We want to do everything we can to support pensioners who are often the most exposed to higher costs.
“That’s why we’re providing all pensioner households with an additional £300 on top of their winter fuel payments to heat their homes and stay warm this winter.
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“This extra payment is just one part of the wider support package we’re delivering to help with rising bills, including the biggest state pension increase in history.”
How much will people get from the Winter Fuel Payment?
According to the DWP, the amount that Britons receive is based on a variety of different general circumstances:
- Born Between September 26, 1942, and September 25, 1956
- People qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) – £500
- People qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies – £250
- People qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies – £250
- People qualify and live with a partner who qualifies, and either of they gets certain benefits – £500
- People qualify and live with someone (not your partner) who qualifies, and either of them gets certain benefits – £500
- People qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits – £250
Born on or before 25 September 1942
- People qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) – £600
- People qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies – £350
- People qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies – £300
- People qualify and live with a partner who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits – £600
- People qualify and live with someone (not your partner) who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits – £600
- People qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits – £300
Eligible people will be paid between £250 and £600, with the payment including a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, of between £150 and £300.
The support will be welcome as average annual energy bills have risen to £2,500 from the start of October.
Britons don’t typically have to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment if someone is eligible. They should receive the money automatically.
Who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?
According to the Government, individuals can receive the Winter Fuel Payment if they were born before September 26, 1956. They may also be able to claim if they live abroad.
Someone might still get the payment if both the following apply:
- They live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country;
- They have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK – this can include having lived or worked in the UK, and having family in the UK.
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The payment is made to individuals, rather than households. However, people will receive less money if they live with someone who also qualifies.
There is no need to apply for the payment if a person receives one of these benefits:
- State pension
- Pension Credit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Carers Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- awards from the War Pensions Scheme
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Industrial Death Benefit.
Individuals who do not get any of these benefits will need to claim if they have not had the payment before, or if they have deferred their state pension since they last received the payment.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, said: “How much Winter Fuel Payment is worth to you depends on some qualifying conditions, and this year pensioners are being given an extra £300 on top, to help them cope with the huge energy price hikes we are seeing.
“At Age UK we hope that together, these sums give older people the confidence to keep their heating turned up high enough to stay warm during the chilly weather.
“However, we know that many older people on low incomes are finding making ends meet a real struggle.
“Some of them are likely to be entitled to benefits that they don’t actually claim and that could make quite a difference to their standard of living overall.
“So if you think this may apply to you please do call the Age UK advice line free of charge on 0800 169 6565, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/money or contact your local Age UK for further information and advice.”