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How to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment before the deadline

Older people may be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment (PA)
Older people may be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment (PA)

Some people have only until Friday, March 31 to claim the Winter Fuel Payment.

Although most people of state pension age received this automatically, there are two groups of people who need to claim if they want to receive the benefit.

The Winter Fuel Payment initiative was launched in 1997 to help keep vulnerable older people safe and warm. People who are eligible receive a lump sum each winter to help pay their energy bills.

Last year, eligible people received more money as part of the pensioner cost of living payment, which was set up to help combat the effects of the energy price cap hike.

Find out below who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, how much it could be, and if you need to claim.

When is the Winter Fuel Payment paid?

Most payments were made automatically in November or December but everyone who is eligible should have received it no later than January 13, 2023.

Who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?

You will qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both of the following apply to you:

  • You were born on or before September 25, 1956.

  • You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 19 to 25, 2022

However, if you did not live in the UK during this qualifying week, you may still get the payment if both of the following apply to you:

  • You live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area country.

  • You have a “genuine and sufficient link to the UK”, such as having lived or worked here and having family here.

You will not be eligible if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are in hospital and have received free treatment for more than a year.

  • You need permission to enter the UK.

  • You were in prison for the whole week of September 19 to 25, 2022.

  • You lived in a care home between June 27 and September 25, 2022 and received certain benefits.

How much can you get for the Winter Fuel Payment?

You could receive between £250 and £600 to help pay your heating bills. This includes a pensioner cost of living payment worth between £150 and £300, which was paid only this winter.

This Winter Fuel Payment amount will be paid in addition to any cost of living payments you may be eligible for through your benefits or tax credits.

How to claim the Winter Fuel Payment

If you’re eligible and receive the state pension or receive another social security payment, you will have received the payment automatically so you do not need to claim.

You also did not need to claim if you’ve received the payment before — unless you have deferred your state pension or moved abroad.

However, if you are of state pension age but have deferred your state pension, or if you’ve not received the Winter Fuel Payment before, you will need to claim.

The deadline to claim the winter fuel payment is Friday, March 31.

You can claim the Winter Fuel Payment by calling the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 or by filling in an online form.

You will need to know your national insurance number, your bank details, and if you were married, and the date you were married (if applicable).