Winter Fuel Payments
A Winter Fuel payment is a one-off, tax-free payment
made during the winter.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and
Age rules: You will qualify for your first
Winter Fuel Payment when you reach Pension
Type of benefit: Non
Administered by: Department for Work and
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Who does it help?
You will be eligible if you were born on or before 5 January
1952 (for winter 2013 to 2014) and you normally live in the UK.
If you live in another European Economic
Area country or Switzerland you may still be eligible if you
have a genuine link with the UK.
You do not have to have paid national insurance
If you meet the qualifying age, but you live in a care home you
get a reduced payment. But if you live a care home and get
Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance
or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you do not
qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment.
How much does it pay?
See the Winter Fuel
Payments information on the GOV.UK website for the rates
available. These depend on your age and the age of your
The money is normally paid from November and most payments are
made by Christmas.
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How do I make a claim?
Most people do not need to make a claim for a Winter Fuel
Payment. You are usually paid automatically if you are getting
other benefits like State Retirement Pension. You will also be paid
automatically if you got a payment last winter and your
circumstances have not changed.
If you are not getting other benefits and you did not get a
payment last winter, you must make a claim.
For the winter of 2014/2015, claims needed to be
submitted by 31 March 2015.
Claim forms and further information are available from the
Winter Fuel Payment helpline:
Telephone: 0845 915 1515
Textphone: 0845 606 0285
Or you can download
a copy of the Winter Fuel Payment claim form (link opens in a new
window) from the Gov.UK website.
In Northern Ireland
You can download a copy of the Winter
Fuel Payment claim form for Northern Ireland (link opens in a
new window) from the NI Direct website.
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Challenging a decision
If you disagree with the decision made on your claim you
can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.
The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one
month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and
Winter Fuel Payment information on the Department for Work and
Pensions Guide to the Social Fund (link opens in a new window)
for more information.
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Last updated: 25 February 2014