If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
If you’re eligible but do not get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim.
The deadline for claiming payments for winter 2018 to 2019 is 31 March 2019, with most payments being made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by 14 January 2019.
If you do not get your payment, call the office that pays your benefits – their details are on any letters they sent you.
Any money you get will not affect your other benefits.
You qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:
a) you were born on or before 5 November 1953
b) you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 17 to 23 September 2018 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
If you did not live in the UK during the qualifying week, you might still get the payment if c & d apply:
c) you live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
d) you have a genuine link with the UK social security system, such as having lived or worked in the UK for most of your life
You can not 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.
You will not qualify if you:
- 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 not claim public funds
- were in prison for the whole week between 17 to 23 September 2018
- lived in a care home for the whole time between 25 June and 17 September 2018, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
If you are not eligible but have an eligible neighbour or relative then Age UK's guide provides more valuable information.