If you were born on or before the 5th of August 1953 and are receiving the State Pension or other social security benefit, you could be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payments. These payments can range from £100 to £300 and can go a long way towards paying your heating bills over the winter months. As it can get very cold for long periods of time over the winter, you will need to put your heating on more often, thus your energy bills will increase substantially.
The money is paid automatically, usually between November and December, and the amount that you will receive depends on your specific circumstances. Another bonus of the Winter Fuel Payments is that they will not affect any of your other benefits and all of the money you receive is tax-free. You can get an estimate of how much you will receive here:
In order to be eligible to receive the Winter Fuel Payment, you must have been born on or before the 5th of August 1953 and be receiving the State Pension or other qualifying social security benefit. You also must have lived in the UK for at least one day of the “qualifying week,” which for the winter of 2017 was the 18th to the 24th of September 2017. Alternatively, you may not have lived in the UK during the qualifying week but still be eligible if you live in Switzerland or some of the other European Economic Area (EEA) countries and you have lived or worked in the UK for a large portion of your life. There are certain countries that do not make you eligible, including France, Spain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, Greece and Portugal, due to the warmer temperatures experienced in these countries over the winter months.
If you are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, you should get it automatically. However, sometimes this doesn’t happen, and, in this case, you must make a claim. Circumstances that require a claim include if you are not on any benefits or do not receive the State Pension, if you do receive any of these but live in Switzerland or any of the qualifying EEA countries, or if you have deferred your State Pension. You will also need to make a claim if you have never received the Winter Fuel Payment before.
You can make a claim by telephone by calling the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
Telephone: 0800 731 0160
Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280
You will need to have your National Insurance Number and bank or building society details to make a claim. If you are claiming from Switzerland or an EEA, you will need to have your BIC and IBAN numbers. You will also need the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership if appropriate. You can claim by post too by filling out the relevant forms found here:
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