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Winter Fuel Allowance

Discover what it is, how to claim it – and lots of other helpful stuff.

What is the Winter Fuel Allowance?

The Winter Fuel Allowance is a tax-free payment of £100 to £300 from the government to help people who were born on or before 5 August 1953 pay for their heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’

It’s different to Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount
 

Where can I claim my Winter Fuel Allowance?

You need to claim Winter Fuel Payment if you’ve not had it before, and any of the following apply:

  • You don’t get benefits or a State Pension.
  • You only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit.
  • You get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country.

You also need to claim Winter Fuel Payment if you’ve deferred your State Pension, even if you had it before. You only need to do this once.

You can claim it for the first time from the Winter Fuel Payment helpline by calling 03459 15 15 15 or by filling out their form and posting it to:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre 

Mail Handling Site A 

Wolverhampton 

WV98 1LR 


Or, if you’re in another EEA country or Switzerland, use this form instead and post it to:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre 

Mail Handling Site A 

Wolverhampton 

WV98 1ZU 

UK 
 

When won’t I qualify for the Winter Fuel Allowance?

You won’t qualify if you:

  • Are in prison for the whole week between 18 to 24 September 2017.
  • Are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year.
  • Need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can’t claim public funds.
  • Have lived in a care home for the whole time between 26 June and 18 September 2017, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
     
When do I have to claim my Winter Fuel Allowance?

You have until 31 March 2018 to claim for winter 2017 to 2018, according to Gov.uk.
 

What date is the Winter Fuel Allowance paid?

Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get yours by 31 December. 

If the money hasn’t been paid into your account by 15 January 2018, call the office that pays your benefits – their details are on any letters they sent you.
 

Which government introduced the Winter Fuel Allowance?

It was introduced by the Labour government in 1997.

Related FAQs

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Find out what they are, how you qualify – and everything else you need to know.

The Warm Home Discount (WHD)

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Debt and energy assistance

Find out ‘what’ to do and ‘where’ to get support when you can’t pay your bills.

Who gets the Winter Fuel Allowance?

You’ll qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • You were born on or before 5 August 1953 (for winter 2017 to 2018 – this date changes every year).
  • You lived in the UK throughout the week of 18 to 24 September 2017 (known as the qualifying week).

You may be able to get the payment if you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country and you have a genuine link with the UK.
 

How much is the Winter Fuel Allowance for pensioners?

It’s a tax-free payment of £100 to £300, and it won’t affect your other benefits. 

How much you get will depend on your circumstances during the qualifying week (that’s 18 to 24 September 2017 for winter 2017 to 2018).
 

Can I get the Winter Fuel Allowance if I am an expat and live overseas? 

You may be able to get the payment if you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country and you have a genuine link with the UK.

You can’t get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
 

Is the Winter Fuel Allowance means-tested?

No, it’s not means-tested. In other words, the amount of income and capital you have will not affect your eligibility. 
 

Is there a Winter Fuel Allowance for the unemployed?

No. It’s only for people who were born on or before 5 August 1953. However, you might be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment
 

Is there a Winter Fuel Allowance for low-income families or single parents?

No. It’s only for people who were born on or before 5 August 1953. However, you might be eligible for the Warm Home Discount
 

Is there a Winter Fuel Allowance for people with disabilities?

If you have a disability, you can get the Winter Fuel Payment if you were were born on or before 5 August 1953. 

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