Winter fuel payments: Johnson responds to calls for expansion
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A Winter Fuel Payment can provide important support to older people in the colder months of the year. The payment is between £100 and £300 and is specifically dedicated to assist with heating bills – vital for some as the cost of energy skyrockets. The payment is issued between November and December, meaning it could be just days until eligible individuals receive their sum.
Those born on or before September 26, 1955 could get a sum intended to help in the winter – however, there are strict eligibility criteria to bear in mind.
People will qualify if they were born on or before the aforementioned date, however, they must have also lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week – September 20 to 26, 2021.
Those who did not live in the UK during the qualifying week could still get the payment if both the following apply:
- They live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
- They have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK – this can include having lived or worked in the UK or having family there
Regardless of this exception, there are certain circumstances where a Winter Fuel Payment will unfortunately not be possible.
Those who may be particularly disappointed are British expats, as living in certain countries make a person ineligible to receive this kind of support.
The Government website explains: “You cannot get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.”
This is because the average winter temperature in these countries is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
However, this does not mean that expats will not be entitled to other forms of similar support.
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In fact, the Government actively encourages individuals to check if they could be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount scheme.
There are also other circumstances which may bar a person from the Winter Fuel Payment scheme, and as such, it is important to check.
Firstly, individuals will not qualify if they are in hospital in receipt of free treatment for more than a year.
Next, if a person was in prison for the whole of the qualifying week, they will not be able to get a Winter Fuel Payment.
Those also ineligible for a payment are individuals who need permission to enter the UK whose granted leave states they will not be able to claim public funds.
The final point of ineligibility relates to a person’s circumstances and their receipt of certain benefits.
If someone lived in a care home for the whole time from June 28 to September 26, 2021, and received the following benefits, they will not be able to receive the sum:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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The Government informs Britons they will not need to claim Winter Fuel Payment, usually.
People tend to get this payment automatically if they are eligible, but may need to claim if they have not received a payment before and do not get benefits or a state pension, or only receive Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit.
A Winter Fuel Payment can be claimed either by phone or by post with the full details contained on the Government website.
Britons will need to have certain details to hand in order to support their claim for a Winter Fuel Payment.
- National Insurance number
- Bank or building society details
- BIC and IBAN numbers if one lives in an EEA country or Switzerland
- The date an individual was married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate)
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