Last day for pensioners to claim £300 winter fuel payment for energy bills

MILLIONS of pensioners can get extra money to pay their energy bills up to £300.

Anyone receiving the state pension should receive winter fuel payment to help cover extra heating costs during the winter months.

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Bills are rising, but paying for winter fuel can give you extra money to cover the costCredit: Alamy

Usually payment is made automatically and the amount of help you get depends on your situation.

But in some cases, eligible people might not have received the money, and they’ll have to apply instead by the end of the day – or they’ll be missed.

This comes as bills explode by 54% on average, starting tomorrow.

Winter Fuel Payments are a tax-free payment that comes from the government each year and is worth between £100 and £300.

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How much you get depends on your age and whether or not you get certain benefits, and getting the payment won’t affect them.

Anyone who is eligible but does not automatically get it must apply by the end of today (March 31).

January 14 is the last day the money should have arrived automatically.

It is paid the same way you receive your state pension payments and winter fuel payments are usually made between November and December.

The money is designed to help older people with the cost of heating their homes during the winter, which has skyrocketed this year due to an energy crisis.

It is therefore worth checking that you have received the additional payment during this period.

Some people who are eligible but might run out of money are those who live abroad in Switzerland or another EEA country.

Those who have reached the legal retirement age but who have been slow to claim their public pension could also be affected.

A DWP spokesperson said: ‘Each year, winter fuel payments support over 11 million people with their energy bills.

“The vast majority of eligible people receive their payments automatically, but some people may need to make a claim.

“This can be done until March 31, 2022 by contacting our winter fuel payment center.”

How do I claim winter fuel payment?

You can make a claim by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Center by mail, phone or email.

Contact details will depend on where you live and a full list can be found on the gov.uk website.

You will need the following information at hand.

  • your national insurance number
  • details of your bank or building society
  • your BIC and IBAN numbers if you reside in the EEA or Switzerland
  • the date you got married or entered into a civil partnership (if applicable)

You also need to tell them if you were in hospital or a nursing home during what is called qualifying week September 20-26, 2021.

Who is eligible for winter fuel payments?

According to gov.uk, both of the following must apply to be eligible for winter fuel payments:

  • you were born on or before September 26, 1955
  • you have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20-26, 2021 – this is known as the “qualifying week”

You may still be eligible if you lived in Switzerland or another EEA country during this period, but you will not receive the payment automatically and you will need to apply for it.

The same applies if you can prove a sufficient connection to the UK, such as having lived and worked here, or having family here but not living there during the qualifying week.

You will not receive payment if you live in the following countries due to hot weather: Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.

You will not receive payment if you are hospitalized for more than a year to receive free treatment and in other circumstances.

You can find out more about when you are not eligible on gov.uk.

How much will I receive for winter fuel payment?

If you are eligible, the amount you can get from the winter fuel payment ranges from £100 to £300.

It depends on your age, if you live with someone else who is also eligible and their age as well.

If you or someone you live with qualifies for certain other benefits like pension credit, this also affects the amount.

For example, if you live alone and were born before September 26, 1941, you will receive £300.

But if you were born between September 27, 1941 and September 26, 1955, and live with another person aged under 80 who also qualifies, you will receive £100.

You can check the amounts available on gov.uk.

Other help you can get with your energy bills

If you don’t receive the winter fuel payment, or if you do and are still struggling with energy bills, you may also be able to get other help.

Low-income Britons can get a £25 payment when temperatures drop and thousands of payments have already been made.

See if you have any of the cold weather payments with the postcode checker.

Energy companies offer hardship funds, for example you can get £750 from British Gas if you are a customer.

Households on pension credit or on low incomes may be eligible for the £140 warm homes rebate scheme – but this is now closed until next winter.

Your local council may also be able to help you with grants if you are struggling with food or energy bills through the recently extended Household Support Scheme.

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Millions of households are enjoying a £150 council tax rebate – see if you qualify.

In October taxpayers will also get a £200 cut on their energy bill, but this will have to be paid back over the next five years.

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Elaine R. Knight