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.
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.
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.
Born between September 23rd 1939 and April 5th 1954
Born on or before September 22nd 1939
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)
You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies
You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies
You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits
Getting certain benefits means the payment may be different (e.g. if either you or your partner is receiving (any will count):
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