Do all pensioners get Winter Fuel Allowance?

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Winter is in full swing, with the cold months of January and February still ahead of us. Heating can set you back an extra £600 in the winter months, and not many pensioners have this kind of money laying around. The Winter Fuel Allowance helps to cover some of the cost. Do all pensioners get Winter Fuel Allowance?

What is a Winter Fuel Payment?

A Winter Fuel Payment is a one-off, tax-free payment to help pensioners pay for heating in the winter.

The money normally comes in automatically in November and December, but it can take up to January 13 to make it to your account.

The money doesn’t count as income so will not affect your entitlement to other benefits.

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How much is it?

The amount you get depends on your circumstances, age, and who you live with.

In this financial year April 2020 to March 2021, the payment is normally £200 if you’re under 80 and £300 if you’re over 80.

However, you will probably get less if you live with someone else who qualifies, live in a care home, or don’t get Pension Credit, Income-based JSA, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.

Do all pensioners get Winter Fuel Allowance?

Everyone who receives the State Pension who meets the criteria will automatically get the Allowance.

This will be most pensioners, but not if during the qualifying week (September 21 to 27, 2020) you:

  • Lived in Cyprus, Gibraltar, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, or Spain
  • Were in prison for the whole of the week
  • Were in hospital, and had been receiving free treatment for a year or more
  • Needed permission to enter the UK
  • Lived in a care home and received Pension Credit or certain other benefits

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How do you get Winter Fuel Payment?

You normally don’t need to make a claim for the Winter Fuel Allowance.

Most of the time you will get it automatically if you are eligible.

You only need to claim a Winter Fuel Payment if you have never had one before AND one of the following applies:

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

If you have had a Winter Fuel Payment before, you will only need to claim if you have since deferred your State Pension or moved to Switzerland or an EEA country.

The deadline to make a claim for winter 2020 to 2021 is March 31, 2021, so there is still time to get your money.

You can claim Winter Fuel Payment by phone by ringing the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160.

Alternatively, you can claim for the first time by post by filling out a claim form.

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