The Winter Fuel Payment, which is also referred to as the winter fuel allowance or heating allowance, is an annual tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 which helps people born on or before 25 September 1956 to pay for their heating in the winter.
These payments shouldn't be confused with Cold Weather Payments — which you could receive for spells of particularly cold weather on a weekly basis — or with the Warm Home Discount, which is a rebate applied to electricity bills.
You could qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment for the upcoming 2022-2023 season if:
You were born on or before 25 September 1956
You'll be living in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19-25 September 2022
Whether you qualify also depends on a few other factors. You won't qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment if, for the week of 19-25 September 2022:
You were in prison
You were in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks;
You need permission to enter the UK under the stipulation that you cannot claim public funds
You also won't be eligible if you lived in a care home for the whole time between 27 June and 25 September 2022 and also received Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Our interactive tool below can help you find out if you could be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and other government schemes to help with your energy bills:
|Situation||Born between 27 September 1941 and 26 September 1955||Born on or before 26 September 1941|
|You live alone||£200||£300|
|You live with someone else who qualifies and is under 80||£100||£200|
|You live with someone else who qualifies and is over 80||£100||£150|
|You live in a care home and do not get certain benefits||£100||£150|
For more information on the types of households that qualify for Winter Fuel Payment, visit Gov.uk's dedicated page.
You'll need to claim your Winter Fuel Payment if you didn't receive at least one of the following benefits during the week of 19-25 September 2022:
Employment and Support Allowance
Disability Living Allowance
Graduated Retirement Benefit
Industrial Injuries Benefits
Severe Disablement Allowance
If you're getting Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Child Benefit only, you'll need to put in a claim to get winter fuel allowance. You'll also need to claim if you have received the Winter Fuel Payment before but your circumstances have changed.
To apply, you will need to download an application form from the Direct Gov website, or get a claim form sent to you by calling the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160. Return your completed application form to:
Winter Fuel Payment Centre
Mail Handling Site A
The Winter Fuel Payment won't affect your other benefits and you won't have to pay Income Tax on it.
You never need to claim winter fuel allowance more than once. Your payments will be given to you every year automatically. If you move house, move overseas, or have someone move in with you, give the Winter Fuel Payment Centre a ring on 0800 731 0160.
The Winter Fuel Payment is paid into your bank account or by cheque - it's up to you. If you're receiving benefits you'll get your Winter Fuel Payment in the same way. If you're part of a couple, and one or both of you are getting Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you'll get one joint payment. Payments for the winter 2021-22 season should be made automatically between November and December 2021 - if the money hasn't been paid by January 2023, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
If your partner gets a Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit, the Winter Fuel Payment will be paid to your household. Otherwise, if you share your home with another qualifying person, you will each get a shared payment depending on your situation.
If you are eligible, you can claim Winter Fuel Payments retrospectively for 1997/98 and 1999/2000. You can't make claims for past winters from 2000/2001 and onwards.
If you don't qualify for benefits like the Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payment or Warm Home Discount, you can at least see if there are cheaper energy deals available (though it's unlikely as long as the energy market remains volatile).
It takes minutes to run a quick comparison of your current plan. All you need is your postcode and tariff name to compare online with Uswitch.
Are you eligible for a Cold Weather Payment this year? Find out if you could claim £25 for every week of cold weather this winter.Learn more
Vulnerable energy customers such as the elderly and disabled can register for special services from their energy supplier - here's how.Learn more