Winter Fuel Payment can provide a much-needed boost for people when the time comes to crank up the heating.
Applications for the payments open on September 18 if you are applying by post, and October 4 if you are applying over the phone.
This is everything you need to know about the payment, including whether you are eligible to make a claim, and when you could receive the money.
Am I eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment?
You can get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before September 25, 1957.
You will usually need to live in the UK, though some circumstances may mean you are eligible if you live abroad.
You will not be eligible if any of the following apply to you:
- have been in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
- need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave says that you cannot claim public funds
- were in prison for the whole of the week of 18 to 24 September 2023
And those living in care homes will be eligible unless both of the following apply:
- you get Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- you lived in a care home for the whole time from 26 June to 24 September 2023
When will I be paid?
Most payments will be made between November and December.
Prior to this you will get a letter informing you of how much you will get and which bank account it will be paid into.
If you do not get a letter or receive the payment by January 26, 2024, you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
Do I need to claim the Winter Fuel Payment?
Most people get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically if they’re eligible.
If you receive any of the following benefits and were born before the qualifying date, you will not need to apply:
- 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
However, if you do not get any of these, you need to claim if either of the following apply:
- you’ve not got the Winter Fuel Payment before
- you’ve deferred your State Pension since your last Winter Fuel Payment
Applications for Winter Fuel Payment open by post next month, with claims being invited from September 18 onwards.
If you are applying by phone, the starting date for claims is October 4.
You can find out how to make a claim here.
Before you call, you will need to know your National Insurance number, your bank or building society details, and the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership.
How much is the Winter Fuel Payment?
Government guidance states: “You’ll get a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get, if you’re eligible.
“If you do not get a letter but think you are eligible, check if you need to make a claim.
“The amount you get is based on when you were born and your circumstances between 18 to 24 September 2023. This is called the ‘qualifying week’.”
This is how much you could be paid depending on your circumstances.
I live alone or with no one else eligible for Winter Fuel Payment
- £500 if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957
- £600 if you were born before 25 September 1943
I live with someone else eligible for Winter Fuel Payment
If you receive Pension Credit, JSA, ESA or Income Support, you will get:
- £500 if both of you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957
- £600 if one or both of you were born before 25 September 1943
If you receive none of the above benefits you will receive:
- £250 if you and the person you live with were both born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957
- £250 if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957 but the person you live with was born before 25 September 1943
- £350 if you were born before 25 September 1943 but the person you live with was born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957
- £300 if you and the person you live with were both born before 25 September 1943
I live in a care home
- £250 if you were born between 25 September 1943 and 24 September 1957
- £300 if you were born before 25 September 1943