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Winter Fuel Payment - you have not received it before

If you have not received a Winter Fuel Payment before, find out if you're eligible, 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 2013/2014

The Winter Fuel Payment scheme for 2013/2014 is now closed. You can no longer claim Winter Fuel Payment for 2013/2014.

Applications for the 2014/2015 scheme will open in 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
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.

What happens next

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
    Tyneview Park
    Newcastle upon Tyne.
    NE98 1BA
  • 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

Claims for past winters closed on 31 March 2014.

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:

More useful links