Winter Fuel Payment - you have not received it before
The following information is only relevant if you have never 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 on what to do if there is a change in your situation.
Who can get it
You may get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2012/2013 if both the following apply:
- you have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5 July 1951)
- you normally live in Great Britain or Northern Ireland on any day in the week of 17-23 September 2012
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, throughout the week of 17–23 September 2012:
- 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, an independent hospital or Ilford Park Polish Resettlement Home (and had done so for the previous 12 weeks or more) and you were on State Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
How you will be paid
Winter Fuel Payment is paid for the household.
You will be paid directly into a bank, building society or other account provider's account
How you’ll be paid if you’re receiving benefits
You’ll receive your Winter Fuel Payment in the same way as you are usually paid your State Pension or main benefit payment.
If the only benefit you receive is Housing Benefit or Child Benefit, it will be paid it into the the bank, building society or other account provider's 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 2012/2013 varies according to your personal situation. Find out how much you can get and when you will be paid.
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|
|2012/2013||5 July 1951|
|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 (during the week of 17-23 September 2012):
- 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 and you won't have to pay Income Tax on it.
Who needs to claim
You'll need to claim your Winter Fuel Payment if :
- you qualify by age and
- you're not receiving any of the benefits above in 'Who doesn't need to claim', or
- 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:
Have a form sent to you by post
If you’re unable to download the form online, you can get a claim form sent to you.
What happens next
If you make a successful claim and we receive your claim form on or before 21 September 2012 you should get paid before Christmas.
If your claim form is completed correctly and you supplied any necessary documents, such as your birth certificate, you'll get a letter acknowledging this.
You will be contacted if you have not filled in the form correctly or additional information is needed.
If you don’t complete the form in full and supply all the required information you may not receive your payment before Christmas.
Most payments will be issued from November through to December. You will then receive another letter telling you how much you will receive and when this is likely to be paid.
Any claims received after 21 September 2012 will be paid in either February, March or May 2013.
How to claim from abroad
If you live in an EEA country or Switzerland you may still be able to get the payment. You must have a genuine link with the UK to claim from abroad. You’ll need to fill in a different claim form.
To apply for a Winter Fuel Payment you can download the claim form from the following link.
- Download 'Winter Fuel Payment claim form, EEA and Switzerland - current year 2012/2013 (WFP3EEA)'(PDF 144 KB)
- Help with PDF files
Where you need to send the form
The completed forms need to be returned to:Winter Fuel Payment Team
International Pension Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
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 from 2000/2001 onwards.
Claims for these winters had to be received by 31 March for the relevant winter. For example, a claim for winter 2012/2013 has to be received by 31 March 2013.
Where you need to send the form
The completed forms need to be returned 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 now wrong then you need to report it. You need to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline.
You have received Winter Fuel Payment before
If you have received Winter Fuel Payment before, then this page is not for you. Please go to the following page instead.