Knowsley Older People's Voice

Winter Fuel Payments (2014/15)

You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 July 1952. This known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

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

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Benefit, Child Benefit, or Universal Credit).

Eligibility

You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment this year if:

  • you were born on or before 5 July 1952 (this date changes every year)
  • you were living in the UK throughout the week of 15 to 21 September 2014

If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.

What you’ll get

How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week. For winter 2014 to 2015 this was 15 to 21 September 2014.

Circumstance

Born on or before 5 July 1952

Aged 80 or over in the qualifying week

You qualify and   live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) £200 £300
You qualify and   get one of the benefits listed** £200 £300
You live with   someone under 80 who also qualifies £100 £200
You live with   someone 80 or over who also qualifies £100 £150
You qualify and   live with your partner or civil partner and they get one of the benefits   listed** Nil*** Nil***
You qualify but   live in a care home and don’t get one of the benefits listed** £100 £150

** Benefits: Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

*** Your partner getting the benefit will get the Winter Fuel Payment on your behalf

How and when you are paid

You’ll receive a letter telling you how much you’ll get and an estimated payment date. Most payments are made automatically between November and December. Winter Fuel Payments are usually paid straight into your bank, building society, or credit union account – if you don’t have one you may be able to get paid using a Post Office card account. You’ll be asked for your account details when you claim, and you can normally only get paid in a different way if you have problems opening or managing an account.

Any money you get won’t affect your other benefits.

Exceptions

You don’t qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if throughout the week of 15 to 21 September 2014 you:

  • were in prison
  • were in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • needed permission to enter the UK and didn’t qualify for help from the Department for Work and Pensions
  • lived in a care home for the previous 12 weeks or more and got Pension Credit,      income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and      Support Allowance

How to make a claim

You need to claim Winter Fuel Allowance if you’ve not had it before and either of the following apply:

  •  you don’t get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, or Child Benefit

Your claim must be received on or before 31 March 2015 for any payments to be made.

You can download a UK Winter Fuel Payment Claim Form here

If you’ve claimed before you should get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically from the organisation that pays your benefits. Contact them if you have any questions or there’s a change in your circumstances.

Change of circumstance

Report any change of circumstance as these can affect how much you get. For example, if the qualifying person stops getting a benefit, moves out, dies or goes into care.

Contact the office paying your Winter Fuel Payment (their details are on any letters they sent you). If you’ve not received a payment before, contact the helpline.

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