Winter fuel payments: Johnson responds to calls for expansion
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Christmas can be costly adding hundreds of pounds to a typical British household’s expenditure in the month of December alone. However, there is help available from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for those on a low income.
Britons aged 60 or over are entitled to help towards their energy costs this winter and it could be worth up to £300.
The Winter Fuel Payment scheme has been set up to help older people on certain benefits heat their homes and it’s available to all households with an individual who is 60 or over and receiving certain benefits.
It’s usually available to those on Job Seeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance but is only paid once if a couple are both entitled.
People who are eligible should have received it already – so if they haven’t now is the time to chase it up.
Who is eligible for Winter Fuel Payments?
According to the Government website, Britons qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if they:
- Were born on or before 26 September 1955
- Lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 20 to 26 September 2021 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’.
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Although most people will receive their payment automatically, those who haven’t claimed it before may need to start a new claim.
Anyone who was born on or before 26 September 1955 could get between £100 and £300 in a one off lump sum.
People are usually eligible if they receive the state pension and another social security benefit.
Britons who don’t receive either of these, or who live abroad, may need to make a claim.
People born on or before September 26, 1941 should get £300 whereas those born prior to 1955 should get £200.
They must have also lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20 to 26, 2021 to qualify.
However, people could still qualify if they live in Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA) as long as they have lived in the UK at some point.
Although most payments are made in November and December, January 14 is the absolute deadline.
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If Britons haven’t received a letter from the DWP saying that they are due a payment they should chase it up if they think this is wrong.
People can go to the government website for further information and search for Winter Fuel Payments.
They could also be due Cold Weather Payments which work out at £25 every time the temperature drops to zero or below for seven consecutive days.
This gives those on a low income, not just pensioners, £25 to help them meet their higher energy costs and there’s a useful online tool on gov.uk where people can input their postcode to check.
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