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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

Cold Weather Payments

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

The Warm Home Discount (WHD)

Find out what it is, how you get it – and everything in between.

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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O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.

 

1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 20/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of Simpler tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 20/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply: https://www.ovoenergy.com/terms

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ev-everywhere/terms

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions: https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-solar-store/terms

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