Winter Fuel Payment

The following information is only relevant if you have never received a Winter Fuel Payment before. Find out if you can claim it, how to claim it and how much you can get. There’s also information on what to do if there is a change in your situation.

Who can get it

You may get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2011/12 if both the following apply:

  • you have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5 January 1951) 
  • you normally live in Great Britain or Northern Ireland on any day in the week of 19–25 September 2011

But you won’t qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if, throughout the week of 19–25 September 2011:

  • you were in hospital for more than 52 weeks previously, getting free treatment as an inpatient 
  • you were in custody serving a court sentence 
  • you were subject to immigration control and did not qualify for help from the Department for Work and Pensions
  • you lived in a care home, an independent hospital or Ilford Park Polish Resettlement Home (and had done so for the previous 12 weeks or more) and you were on Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Also, you can’t get a Winter Fuel Payment if you move to another European Economic Area country or Switzerland and didn’t qualify before you moved.

How you will be paid

Winter Fuel Payment is paid for the household.

You will be paid directly into your bank account or by cheque depending on what you have requested.

How you’ll be paid if you’re receiving benefits

You’ll receive your Winter Fuel Payment in the same way as you usually receive your State Pension or benefit. Apart from Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Child Benefit,

There will be one payment for both of you, if you’re a couple and both receiving any of the following:

  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

If your partner gets any of the above benefits for you both, your partner will receive the full amount for both of you.

How much you can get and when you will be paid

The amount of Winter Fuel Payment you can get for winter 2011/12 varies according to your personal situation. Find out how much you can get and when you will be paid.

Qualifying for Winter Fuel Payment in the future

If you have not yet reached State Pension age, the following table explains when you will qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment.

The table is based on the current State Pension age. It does not include the proposed changes in the Pensions Bill 2011.

Winter Fuel Payment qualifying dates

 Winter  Must be born on or before this date to qualify
 2011/12  5 January 1951
 2012/13  5 July 1951
 2013/14  5 January 1952
 2014/15  5 July 1952
 2015/16 5 January 1953
 2016/17  5 July 1953
 2017/18  5 January 1954
 2018/19  5 July 1954
 2019/20  5 January 1955
 2020/21  26 September 1955
 2021/22  25 September 1956
 2022/23  24 September 1957
 2023/24  22 September 1958
 2024/25  21 September 1959
 2025/26  27 September 1960

Who doesn’t need to claim

If you receive State Pension or certain other benefits you will be paid automatically and don’t need to claim.

You don’t need to claim if you’re eligible and receiving at least one of the following (during the week of 19–25 September 2011):

  • State Pension
  • Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Income Support 
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • Pension Credit 
  • Attendance Allowance 
  • Bereavement Benefit 
  • Carer’s Allowance 
  • Disability Living Allowance 
  • Graduated Retirement Benefit 
  • Incapacity Benefit 
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits 
  • Severe Disablement Allowance 
  • War Pension 
  • Widow’s Benefit

The Winter Fuel Payment won’t affect your other benefits and you won’t have to pay Income Tax on it.

Who needs to claim

You’ll need to claim your Winter Fuel Payment if the following apply:

  • you qualify
  • you’re not receiving any of the benefits above in ‘Who doesn’t need to claim’
  • you are getting Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Child Benefit only

You’ll need to claim if you have received a Winter Fuel Payment before but your circumstances have changed. For example you have stopped receiving any of the benefits above in ‘Who doesn’t need to claim’ or deferred your State Pension.

You still need to claim even if your partner is already receiving a Winter Fuel Payment for your household.

How to claim

To apply you can complete the claim form on screen or print it out and fill it in with black ink. You then need to post the completed form to the address below. The deadline for a claim being received is 30 March 2012.

Where you need to send the form

The completed forms need to be returned to:

Winter Fuel Payment Team
Department for Work and Pensions
PO Box 10142
Annesley
Nottingham
NG15 5WY

Have a form sent to you by post

If you’re unable to download the form online, you can get a claim form sent to you. Call the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline on 0845 9 15 15 15.

What happens next

If you make a successful claim and we receive your claim form before 23 September 2011 you should get paid before Christmas.

If your claim form is completed correctly and you supplied any necessary documents, such as your birth certificate, you’ll get a letter acknowledging this.

You will be contacted if you have not filled in the form correctly or additional information is needed.

If you don’t complete the form in full and supply all the required information you may not receive your payment before Christmas.

Most payments will be issued from November through to December. You will then receive another letter telling you how much you will receive and when this is likely to be paid.

Any claims made after 23 September will be paid in 2012.

Claim for past winters

If you are eligible, you can claim Winter Fuel Payments for the years 1997/98 to 1999/2000.

From 2000/01 time limits for claims were introduced. This means that payments can’t be made for late claims for any winters from 2000/01 onwards.

Claims for these winters had to be received by 30 March for the relevant winter. For example, a claim for winter 2011/12 has to received by 30 March 2012.

Print and complete the claim form with black ink.

Where you need to send the form

The completed forms need to be returned to:

Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Department for Work and Pensions
PO Box 22
Gateshead
NE92 1BX

If you move to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland

You may only be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment if you’ve already qualified for it before you moved to a EEA country or Switzerland. If you move to another country you will not be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment.

What to do if you think your payment is incorrect

Check the payment information in ‘Winter Fuel Payment – how much you can get and when you’ll be paid’.

Who to contact if your payment is incorrect

If you’re claiming for the first time and the information in your claim form is now wrong then you need to report it. You need to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline.

Category : BLOG &Uncategorized Posted on November 30, 2011

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