When is the winter fuel allowance paid and who is eligible?

When is the winter fuel allowance paid and who is eligible?
When is the winter fuel allowance paid and who is eligible?
You can get money towards heating your home this winter (Picture: Getty Images)

With winter just a matter of months away, the time is coming when we’ll start to spend more time in our homes with the heating on high – which leads us to think about the cost of keeping warm.

It can get pretty expensive, which is why the Government gives older people in the UK a helping hand towards paying those costs.

As part of the winter fuel allowance, people born before a certain date in 1955 can get between £100 and £300 to go towards their fuel bills.

But while the payment date may not be for a little while, when is it paid and who is eligible to claim it?

When is the winter fuel allowance paid?

The winter fuel allowance is paid automatically between November and December – if you’re eligible and have made a claim you should get it by January 14, 2022, at the latest.

If you’re eligible but do not automatically receive it you will need to make a claim – and if your payment doesn’t arrive you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

A woman standing near a radiator holding a hot drink
If you were born before a certain date you can claim (Picture: Getty Images)

You can find out how to make a claim at the Winter Fuel Payment section of the Government website.

You’ll need to claim by March 31, 2021 at the latest to receive any money you might be entitled to for winter 2020/21.

Who is eligible for winter fuel allowance?

In order to be eligible you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You were born on or before October 5, 1955
  • You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20-26 2021 – known as the ‘qualifying week’

If you didn’t live in the UK during that week, you may still be eligible if:

  • You live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • You have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK – which can include having lived and worked in the UK, or having family in the UK

However you cannot get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature in those countries is higher than the warmest region of the UK.

senior man adjusting the thermostat
The winter fuel allowance can be a lifeline for elderly citizens (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You will not qualify if you meet any of the following:

  • You are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
  • You need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can not claim public funds
  • You were in prison for the whole week of September 21-27
  • You were living in a care home for the whole period of June 29 to September 27 and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance

If you don’t qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount Scheme – check the Government website for more information.

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Author: Caroline Westbrook