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Winter Fuel Payments update

Published Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free annual payment to help older people meet the cost of their winter fuel bills. The “standard” rates are £200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80, and £300 for households containing a person aged 80 or over.

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The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free annual payment to help older people pay their winter heating bills. The “standard” rates are £200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80, and £300 for households containing a person aged 80 or over.  It is entirely separate from the Cold Weather Payments scheme, under which people getting certain means-tested benefits receive automatic payments of £25 a week during periods of very cold weather.

To be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment, a person must have reached the relevant age threshold before the end of the “qualifying week” (for this year, 21 to 27 September 2015). The relevant age is linked to the State Pension age for women, which is increasing gradually.  This means that, to receive a payment this winter (2015/2016), a person must have been born on or before 5 January 1953.

It is possible for people living in other EEA states to receive a Winter Fuel Payment, but from winter 2015 a new "temperature link" means that it has ceased to be payable to people living in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.

 

Commons Briefing papers SN06019

Authors: Steven Kennedy; Elizabeth Parkin

Topics: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Energy, Fuel poverty, Older people, Pensions

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