A winter fuel payment is a scheme made available by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help Britons pay their heating bills. It is made to eligible people born on or before October 5, 1954 and can prove a particular help for the associated costs of the colder months. It is likely a winter fuel payment will be of particular value this year, due to many more people spending a higher proportion of their time at home.
Individuals who are entitled to a winter fuel payment can receive between £100 and £300, dependent on their circumstances.
Aside from the age requirement for a winter fuel payment, though, there are other eligibility criteria to bear in mind.
Perhaps most prominently, is that Britons must have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 21 to 27, 2020.
If a person did not live in the UK during the qualifying week, they may still get the payment if both the following apply:
- A person lives in Switzerland or a European Economic Area country
- A person has a “genuine and sufficient” link to the UK – including having worked there previously, or having family there
A significant number of older expats, those who have left Britain to live abroad, perhaps for their retirement, could therefore fall outside of the eligibility criteria for a winter fuel payment.
However, there are also other individuals the Government states will not be eligible for a winter fuel payment.
These are people who are considered as non-qualifying due to a set of circumstances outlined by the DWP.
The first group of individuals who will not be able to get a winter fuel payment are those who are in hospital receiving free treatment for more than a year.
However, for those unable to qualify for a winter fuel payment, there may be other payments related to cold weather Britons could receive.
A Cold Weather Payment is available to those receiving Pension Credit, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest amongst other benefits.
It provides a £25 payout to those living in an area where the temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
Alternatively, the Warm Home Discount scheme is intended to help those on Pension Credit or people on a low income.
It could provide Britons with £140 off their electricity or gas bill between September and March.