You could be eligible for up to £300 of winter fuel allowance - how to apply

Monday, 14th December 2020, 3:23 pm
Updated Monday, 14th December 2020, 4:01 pm

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) provides a winter fuel benefit to people to ensure they can cover additional fuel costs.

However, there is an eligibility criteria which means only the elderly benefit from the financial support.

The amount you receive varies and will be paid in a one-off payment - here is everything you need to know.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

What is the winter fuel payment?

The Winter Fuel Payment is a UK government benefit which entitles elderly people to a sum of money to contribute towards their fuel payments throughout the colder months.

Who is eligible?

You qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:

- you were born on or before 5 October 1954

- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 - this is called the ‘qualifying week’

You may still be entitled if you live in a country such as Switzerland or a European Economic Area and you have lived, worked or have family living in the UK.

You will not be entitled to the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because average temperatures are higher than that of the UK throughout winter.

Who does not qualify?

If you do not meet the age criteria, or you were in prison for the entire week of 21 to 27 September then you are not eligible.

Likewise, should you have been an inpatient receiving free treatment for the past year or you resided in a care home from 29 June until 21 September and received other state benefits, you are also not eligible.

People who require permission to stay in the UK and are restricted from applying for state aid will also not receive the payment.

How much will I receive from DWP?

Should you be entitled to the winter fuel payment, the qualifying week is an important part of working out what you can expect.

The sum you will receive is also dependent on whether you were born between 1940 and 1954 or before 27 September 1940.

For people born before 27 September 1940, you can expect:

- £300 if you live alone or with no one else who qualifies

- £200 if you live with someone under 80 years old who also qualifies

- £150 if you live with someone over 80 who also qualifies

- £150 if you live in a care home but do not receive certain benefits

For anyone born between 28 September 1940 and 5 October 1954 expect:

- £200 if you live alone, or if no one else in your household qualifies.

- £100 if you live with someone else who qualifies, regardless of their age.

- £100 if you live in a care home but do not receive certain benefits.

Could my other state paid benefits affect my allowance?

If you or your partner receives Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support your amount could be affected.

For people born before 27 September 1940, you can expect:

- £300 if you receive benefits and live alone, r or with no one else who qualifies for the winter fuel allowance

- £300 and live with someone else who receives any of the above benefits (although only one of you can receive the winter fuel allowance).

For anyone born between 28 September 1940 and 5 October 1954, you will receive:

- £200 if you receive benefits and live alone, or with no one else who qualifies for the winter fuel allowance

- £200 if you live with someone else who receives any of the above benefits (although only one of you can receive the winter fuel allowance).

if you live in a care home and receive any of the aforementioned benefits, you are not eligible for winter fuel allowance.

How do I claim?

If you already receive another form of social security payment, you should expect to receive a letter from DWP with the details about how much you will receive and when.

This will automatically be paid to you, usually between November and December on the same date as you receive your other benefits.

However, if you have not received your payment by 13 January 2021 then you should contact the DWP.

If you only receive Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit or you have deferred your state pension, you will need to make a claim.

Before applying, ensure you have your national insurance number, bank and bank society details and the date you were married (if applicable).

To claim by phone contact 0800 731 0160 from a UK contact number or +44 (0)191 218 7777 from outside of the UK or access the online application form.

There are also other contact details for deaf, blind and other circumstance on the DWP website.

The DWP new claims line is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.