The Winter Fuel Payment is given to older people to help with heating costs during the coldest months (Picture: Getty)

When winter arrives, many of us have the heating on more – meaning we have to think about the cost of keeping warm.

It can get pretty expensive – even without the cost of living crisis – which is why the Government gives older people in the UK a helping hand towards paying those costs.

As part of the Winter Fuel Payment, people born before a certain date in 1955 can get between £100 and £300 to go towards their fuel bills.

For winter 2022, pensioners receiving the Winter Fuel Payment will also receive a one-off extra £300, aka the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, announced Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

But what is the Winter Fuel Payment, when does it usually arrive, and who is eligible to get it?

When is the Winter Fuel Payment paid?

The Winter Fuel Payment is usually paid automatically between November and December every year.

Most people who are eligible will get it without needing to specifically claim. However, if you’re eligible but do not automatically receive it, you will need to make a claim.

If you were born before a certain date you can claim (Picture: Getty Images)

For the past two years, claims needed to be in by March 31 for the winter just gone. If that remains the case, for winter 22/23, when it arrives, claims will have to be in no later than March 31, 2023.

The payment for winter 21/22 should have arrived by January 14, 2022. If it hasn’t, you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

Any concerns about how the Winter Fuel Payment works are addressed on the Government website.

Who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?

Only UK pensioners, living in the UK or in some parts of Europe, are able to access the Winter Fuel Payment.

In order to be eligible, you will need to meet the following criteria:

You were born on or before October 5, 1955You lived in the UK for at least one day during the ‘qualifying week’. (We don’t yet know when this is for winter 22/23, but the Government’s website should have updates).

You can get money towards heating your home this winter (Picture: Getty Images)

If you didn’t live in the UK during that week, you may still be eligible if:

You live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) countryYou have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK, which can include having lived and worked in the UK, or having family in the UK.

That said, 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 those countries is higher than the warmest region of the UK.

You will not qualify if you meet any of the following:

Winter Fuel Payments can be a lifeline for elderly citizens (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a yearYou need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can not claim public fundsYou were in prison for the whole of ‘qualifying week’You were living in a care home on specific dates during the year (see gov.uk for updates) and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

If you don’t qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment or the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Notably these are different schemes, so check if you’re able to receive those by visiting gov.uk.


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