Winter fuel payments: Johnson responds to calls for expansion
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A winter fuel payment will be made available to Britons who were born on or before October 5, 1954 to help with heating bills. Dependent on a person’s circumstances, they will be able to get between £100 and £300 paid directly into their bank account. The winter fuel payment is overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who administers the sum to those who are eligible.
People can expect to receive a winter fuel payment if they meet certain criteria as laid out by the Government.
Individuals will need to either be in receipt of the state pension, or another social security benefit to get a winter fuel payment.
However, this cannot be Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit under official rules.
While most payments are made automatically in November or December, the DWP has stated that for a small minority of people a payment could be delayed.
Eligible people, however, should receive their money into their bank account by March 31, 2021.
This is also the deadline for individuals who do not automatically receive a winter fuel payment to make a claim for the sum.
It is important to note, though, some state pensioners may end up missing out on a winter fuel payment.
This is due to the rules which have been laid out by the DWP when it comes to the heating bill support.
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Under winter fuel payment eligibility rules, however, there may be some people who end up missing out on a payment.
For this reason, it is important to be aware of the rules to avoid disappointment later down the line.
While most Britons will be able to receive a winter fuel payment if they are in receipt of the state pension, there may be an eligibility issue for certain expats.
Individuals who are living in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, France or Gibraltar are unfortunately excluded from the winter fuel payment.
This is because the average winter temperatures in these areas is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
In the same sense, people will not be able to qualify for a winter fuel payment if they did not live in the UK during the qualifying week of September 21 to 27, 2021.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule which the Government has laid out for further clarity.
Those who were not resident in the UK for the qualifying week could still get a winter fuel payment if they live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country – as long as it is not on the aforementioned list of excluded countries.
A winter fuel payment may also be issued if a person has what is known as a “genuine and sufficient link” to the UK.
This, for example, could be living or working in the UK previously, or having family who are resident in the UK.
Britons will not qualify if they lived in a care home during the qualifying week, and were in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
The same is true for individuals who were in prison for the whole of the qualifying week.
Finally, individuals who are currently in hospital, receiving free treatment for more than a year will also not qualify.
If a person does need to claim a winter fuel payment, they are encouraged to contact the winter fuel payment centre by phone or by post.
Full contact details can be easily found via the Government’s official website for those looking for more clarity.
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