Winter Fuel Payment 2019

You should get the Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before the 5th of April 1954. But, keep in mind that the age qualification for the winter heating allowance changes every year.

Claimants who meet the eligibility criteria should get paid automatically. If not, you would need to make a claim (further details below).

Claiming Winter Fuel Allowance

If you are getting the State Pension, or one of the other qualifying social security benefits, you should get the wintertime fuel payment by automatic process.

Information about the Winter Fuel Payment and how much you get.

The benefits office should send you a letter stating how much you will get and how they will pay.

As a rule, the payment will go into a secure account (e.g. your bank account, building society, or credit union account).

The money should hit your bank account sometime in November or December (no later than the second week of January). But, the deadline for claiming Winter Fuel Payments is the 31st of March (e.g. for the previous five months).

What if You Don’t Get a Payment?

If the money does not turn up as expected, you should contact the office that pays your benefits. You will find their contact information on any previous letters they sent to you. Receiving the Winter Fuel Payment does not affect any other benefits you are claiming.

Note: Social security benefits do not include Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Universal Credit, or Council Tax Reduction. There is a version of this guide in Welsh (Cymraeg) available on the GOV.UK website.

Eligibility for Winter Fuel Allowance?

Both of these must apply to qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment 2019/20:

  • You were born on or before the 5th of April 1954.
  • You lived in the United Kingdom for at least one day during the qualifying week (16th to 22nd of September for 2019).

What if you were not living in the United Kingdom during the week for qualification? In some cases, you could still get a payment if (both):

  • You live in Switzerland or one of the countries in the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • You have a genuine and sufficient link to the United Kingdom (e.g. you lived or worked here, you have family here).
Note: Living in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal, or Spain does not meet the eligibility criteria. The average winter temperature in these countries is usually higher than the warmest region of the United Kingdom.

When You Do Not Qualify

You will not qualify for the winter heating allowance payment if you:

  • Are getting free treatment in a hospital for more than a year.
  • Need permission to enter into the United Kingdom and your granted leave states you “cannot claim public funds”.
  • Were in prison for the whole of the qualifying week.
  • Lived in a care home for between the 24th of June and the 22nd of September and received Income Support payments, Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Note: You might still get the Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the Winter Fuel Payment.

How Much is the Winter Fuel Payment?

The amount you get will depend on what your circumstances were during the qualifying week (e.g. 16th to the 22nd of September 2019 for winter 2019 to 2020). Even so, any money you receive will not affect your rights to claim benefits and will be tax-free.

Your CircumstancesBorn between September 23rd 1939 and April 5th 1954Born on or before September 22nd 1939
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)£200£300
You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies£100£200
You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies£100£150
You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits£100£150

Getting certain benefits means the payment may be different (e.g. if either you or your partner is receiving (any will count):

Your CircumstancesBorn between September 23rd 1939 and April 5th 1954Born on or before September 22nd 1939
You qualify, get one of the benefits and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)£200£300
You qualify and live with someone who also gets one of the benefits£200 (only one person will get the payment)£300 (only one person will get the payment)
You qualify, live in a care home and get one of the benefitsNo paymentNo payment

If You Need to Claim Winter Fuel Payments

You should only need to make a claim if you do not get it automatically. But, you should claim if this will be your first payment and you:

  • Do not get benefits or a State Pension.
  • Do get benefits or a State Pension but you live in Switzerland or an EEA country.
  • Only get Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, or Universal Credit.
  • Deferred your State Pension (even if you received it before).

Claiming for the First Time by Phone

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Email the Winter Fuel Payments Centre
Telephone: 0800 731 0160
Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0160
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Find out more on phone call charges

They will want information about:

  • Your National Insurance number and bank or building society details.
  • Your BIC and IBAN numbers (if you are living in the EEA or Switzerland).
  • The date you got married or when you entered into a civil partnership (if applicable).
Note: Unless you already receive payments in a National Savings and Investments (NS&I) account you won’t get the Winter Fuel Payment by this method.

You will need to provide some information about your circumstances during the qualifying week, such as whether you were:

  • Receiving free in-patient treatment in hospital/
  • In a residential care home (or Ilford Park Resettlement Home).
  • In custody (e.g. serving a court sentence).

Claiming for the First Time by Post

To claim for the first time by post you will need to use a specific claim form. The one you need will depend on where you are living.

Use this form to claim a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2019 to 2020 if you live in the United Kingdom. Send it to this address:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LR

Use this form to claim a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2019 to 2020 if you live in another EEA country or Switzerland. Send it to this address:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1ZU
United Kingdom

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Challenge a Decision about the Winter Fuel Allowance

You can challenge a decision about your claim if you disagree with the decision. The process to follow is called asking for ‘mandatory reconsideration‘.

Reporting a Change or Cancelling a Payment

You should contact the office that pays your benefits if you already claimed Winter Fuel Payment before, to:

  • Report a change of circumstances.
  • Cancel future payments.
  • Return a payment.

Do not delay reporting any change in circumstances (e.g. you stop getting a benefit, go into care, or move home). Doing so could affect how much Winter Fuel Payment you will get.

Contact Information

Note: Contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre if you are not getting any of these particular benefits or the State Pension (details above).