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Winter Fuel Payment

A Winter Fuel payment is a one-off, tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 made during the winter to help with heating costs, it is made to households with someone over Pension Credit age.

1. What is a Winter Fuel Payment?

A Winter Fuel payment is a one-off, tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 made during the winter to help with heating costs, it is made to households with someone over Pension Credit age.

Most people born on or before 5 April 1954 will usually qualify for a payment in 2019/20, (the date changes every year).

Most payments are made automatically during November and December. If you apply for the first time, you should receive your payment before Christmas.

The amount you can receive each winter can vary according to your personal circumstances. Your age or other people living with you who are also eligible can affect the amount you receive.

A Winter Fuel Payment does not count as income when working out your entitlement to other benefits.
 

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You will qualify for your first Winter Fuel Payment when you reach Pension Credit age

Type of benefit: Non means tested. You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions.

Taxable: No

Administered by: Department for Work and Pensions

 

Updated : August 2019

2. Can I get a Winter Fuel Payment?

You will be eligible if:

  • You were born on or before 5 April 1954 for winter 2019 to 2020 (the date changes every year),

and

  • You will be living in the UK for at least one day of the week of 16 to 22 September 2019.

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 (excluding Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain).

If you meet the qualifying age, but you live in a care home you get a reduced payment; unless you get Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, in which case you do not qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment.

Updated: August 2019
 

3. How much Winter Fuel Payment will I get?

See the Winter Fuel Payment information on the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new window) for the rates available. These depend on your age and the age of your partner.

How will I be paid a Winter Fuel Payment?

A Winter Fuel Payment will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

The money is normally paid from November and most payments are made by Christmas.

Winter Fuel Payment and other benefits

A Winter Fuel Payment does not count as income when working out your entitlement to other benefits.
 

4. How do I claim a Winter Fuel Payment?

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 Basic State Pension or New State Pension. (Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit and Universal Credit do not count as other benefits).

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 2019/2020, claims must be sent and arrive by 31 March 2020.

In England, Scotland and Wales

Claim forms and further information are available from the Winter Fuel Payment helpline:
Telephone: 0800 731 0160
Textphone: 0800 731 0464

Or you can download a copy of the Winter Fuel Payment claim form from the Gov.UK website

In Northern Ireland

You can download a copy of the Winter Fuel Payment claim form for Northern Ireland from the NI Direct website

What documents will I need to claim a Winter Fuel Payment?

You will need your national insurance number,  the date of your marriage or civil partnership and your bank details.

When will my Winter Fuel Payment claim begin?

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas.

If you meet the qualifying conditions for a Winter Fuel Payment but do not get your payment automatically, you will need to make a claim and payment will be made to you three months after applying.

You cannot claim a Winter Fuel Payment for previous winters.

Updated August 2019

5. How do I challenge a Winter Fuel Payment decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your claim you can usually ask for it to be looked at again known as a 'mandatory reconsideration'. If you still disagree with the further decision you can then appeal to an independent tribunal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

See our guide to challenging decisions which includes the different process for challenging decisions in Northern Ireland  Challenging Department of Work and Pensions Benefit Decisions (link opens in a new window)