Winter Fuel Allowance: Do you have to apply for Winter Fuel Allowance?

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Winter Fuel Allowance is a payment made during the coldest months of the year to eligible Britons, helping with the cost of heating bills. As the weather turns cold, many of us reach for our heating without a second thought – however, the costs can soon mount up.

As the winter hits, temperatures plummet and many of us reach for the heating to keep warm.

With more time spent at home due to lockdown, the cost of keeping your home warm may be spiking.

To combat fuel poverty, there are several schemes in place to help those who are struggling with increased bills come winter.

These include the Winter Fuel Allowance scheme, run by the Government.

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A household is said to be in fuel poverty if:

  • They have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level), and
  • Were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

Do you have to apply for Winter Fuel Allowance?

Winter Fuel Allowance is a one-off payment given to eligible Britons during the winter months to help with heating costs.

The payment is tax-free and made to households which include someone over State pension age.

Most people born on or before October 5, 1954, will qualify for a payment in 2020/21.

Claimants can receive a one-off payment of between £150 to £300 depending on their circumstances.

According to the Government website, you usually do not need to claim Winter Fuel Payment – as those eligible will get it automatically.

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However, you will need to claim it if you’ve not had it before and any of the following apply:

  • you do not get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit
  • you get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country

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

To claim Winter Fuel Allowance you should get in touch with the Winter Fuel Payment Centre either by phone or post.

To do this you can either use

  • Email enquiry form
  • Telephone: 0800 731 0160
  • Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0176
  • Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280
  • Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0160
  • Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users 

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm.

To apply you will need the following:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society details
  • your BIC and IBAN numbers if you live in the EEA or Switzerland
  • the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate)

You’ll also need to say whether during the qualifying week of 21 to 27 September 2020 you were:

  • in hospital getting free in-patient treatment
  • in a residential care home or Ilford Park Resettlement Home
  • in custody serving a court sentence

To claim via post, you will need to download and print off the Winter Fuel Payment form, which you can find at this link here.

Send your claim to the following address if you’re in the UK.

If you live in Switzerland or an eligible EEA country the system is a little different, you can find out more about this here.

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