Winter Fuel Payment - you have not received it before
The following information is relevant if you have not received a Winter Fuel Payment before. Find out if you can claim it, how to claim it and how much you can get. There’s also information about what to do if your personal circumstances have changed.
Winter Fuel Payments for 2013/2014The Winter Fuel Payment scheme is open for 2013/2014. If you need to make a claim, you must apply before 31 March 2014.
Who can get it
You may get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2013/2014 if both the following apply:
- you have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5 January 1952)
- you lived in Northern Ireland or Great Britain on any day during 16-22 September 2013
In some circumstances you can get Winter Fuel Payment if you live in another EEA country or Switzerland.(The EEA is made up of all 27 EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
But you won’t qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if, during the week of 16–22 September 2013:
- you were in hospital for more than 52 weeks previously, getting free treatment as an inpatient
- you were in custody serving a court sentence
- you were subject to immigration control and did not qualify for help from the Department for Work and Pensions
- you lived in a care home or an independent hospital for the previous 12 weeks or more and received Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
How you will be paid
Winter Fuel Payment is paid to each eligible person in a household. Each person who qualifies for the payment will receive a letter explaining their individual payment. If you qualify, a Winter Fuel Payment will be paid into the bank account you nominate.
How you’ll be paid if you’re receiving benefits
You’ll receive your Winter Fuel Payment in the same way as you are paid your State Pension or main benefit payment.
If the only benefit you receive is Housing Benefit or Child Benefit, it will be paid into the bank, building society or other account you supplied, when you made your Winter Fuel Payment claim.
How much you can get and when you will be paid
The amount of Winter Fuel Payment you can get for winter 2013/2014 varies according to your circumstances. To find out how much you can get and when you will be paid, go to:
Qualifying for Winter Fuel Payment in the future
If you have not yet reached State Pension age, the following table explains when you will qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment.
Winter Fuel Payment qualifying dates
|Winter||Must be born on or before this date to qualify|
|2013/2014||5 January 1952|
|2014/2015||5 July 1952|
Who doesn’t need to claim
If you receive State Pension or certain other benefits you will be paid automatically and don’t need to claim.
You also don't need to claim if you're eligible and receiving at least one of the following benefits (during the week of 16-22 September 2013):
- State Pension
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Attendance Allowance
- Bereavement Benefit
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Graduated Retirement Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Industrial Injuries Benefits
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- War Pension
- Widow’s Benefit
If you live in an EEA country or Switzerland you may need to make a claim – see the ‘How to claim from abroad’ section below.
The Winter Fuel Payment won't affect your other benefits. You don't pay Income Tax on Winter Fuel Payment.
Who needs to claim
You'll need to claim your Winter Fuel Payment if :
- you qualify by age
- you're not receiving any of the benefits above in 'Who doesn't need to claim'
- you are getting Housing Benefit or Child Benefit only
You’ll need to claim if you have received a Winter Fuel Payment before but your circumstances have changed. For example you have stopped receiving any of the benefits above in ‘Who doesn’t need to claim’ or deferred your State Pension.
You still need to claim even if your partner is already receiving a Winter Fuel Payment for your household.
How to claim from the UK
To apply for a Winter Fuel Payment you can download the claim form from the following link:
Request a claim form
If you’re unable to download the form online, you can receive a claim form by post:
What happens next
Most people who claimed successfully by 21 September received their Winter Fuel Payment before Christmas.
If you completed your claim form correctly and supplied any necessary documents, such as your birth certificate, you'll get an acknowledgement letter.
Usually you will also receive a letter telling you how much you will receive and when this is likely to be paid.
You will be contacted if you have not completed the form correctly or additional information is needed.
If you don’t complete the form in full and supply all the required information your payment will be delayed
Most payments were issued during November and December. Claims received after 21 September 2013 will be paid in February, March or May 2014.
How to claim from abroad
If you live in an EEA country or Switzerland you may still be able to receive Winter Fuel Payment. You must have a genuine link with the UK to claim from abroad.
To apply for a Winter Fuel Payment from abroad, contact the International, Future and Specialist Pension Centre (IFSPC):
- Winter Fuel Team
International, Future and Specialist Pension Centre (IFSPC)
Room TC 109
Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Telephone 0191 2187777 (UK resident) or +44 191 2187777 (abroad)
- Email: International queries
If you move to another country (outside the EEA or Switzerland) you will not be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment.
Claim for past winters
If you are eligible, you can claim Winter Fuel Payments for the years 1997/1998 to 1999/2000 using the form at the link below.
From 2000/2001 time limits for claims were introduced. This means that payments can't be made for late claims for any winters since 2000/2001.
Where you need to send the form
You should send your completed form to:Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Department for Work and Pensions
PO Box 22
What to do if you think your payment is incorrect
Check the payment information in ‘Winter Fuel Payment – how much you can get and when you'll be paid’.
Who to contact if your payment is incorrect
If you’re claiming for the first time and the information in your claim form is incorrect, you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline.
You have received Winter Fuel Payment before
If you have received Winter Fuel Payment before, go to the following page: