Winter Fuel Payment warning for older people



National poverty charity Turn2us is warning older people who have deferred their State Pension to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment. Every Winter it is contacted by older people who are eligible for, but not receiving, between £100 and £300 to help with their heating bills. Turn2us says that while those born on or before 5 August 1953 are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment, those who have deferred their State Pension won’t get it paid automatically and will need to make a claim.

The warning comes as figures released today by the Department for Work and Pensions reveal that 12.03 million people received the Winter Fuel Payment last Winter.

People usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if they are eligible and get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). How much people get depends on their circumstances. Most payments are made automatically between November and December and any money people get is tax-free and won’t affect their other benefits.

Urging older people who have deferred their State Pension to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said:

“We see a rise in people seeking our help every Winter as they struggle under the pressure of increased energy costs. Too many are forced to make the difficult choice between heating and eating.

“It is therefore vital that people receive the help with their Winter energy costs that they are entitled to, particularly older people whose health is especially vulnerable to living in a cold home.”

People need to telephone the Winter Fuel Payment Centre to claim on 03459 15 15 15 (Textphone 0345 606 0285), which is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. They should have their National Insurance number and bank or building society details when they call.