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State pension claimants born on or before October 5 1954 will qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if they lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020. If a claimant does not live in the UK during this week, they may still be able to get the payment if they live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country have sufficient links to the UK.
A claimant will not qualify if they:
- are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
- need permission to enter the UK and their granted leave states that they cannot claim public funds
- were in prison for the whole week from 21 to 27 September 2020
- lived in a care home for the whole time from June 29 to September 27 2020, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
So long as a claimant is eligible, they’ll usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically.
The payments are usually made between November and December but they can be claimed up until March 31 2021.
If the payments do not come through, claimants can contact a dedicated Winter Fuel Payment centre.
The money received from Winter Fuel Payment s will not affect any other benefits that the claimant may be receiving.
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Exactly how much a person will receive will be dependent on their circumstances during the qualifying week.
Those born between September 21 1940 and October 5 1954 will receive £200 if they qualify and live alone, £100 if they live with someone under 80 who also qualifies, £100 if they live with someone over 80 who also qualifies or £100 if they live in a care home and do not get certain benefits.
For claimants born on or before September 20 1940 the payments will increase to £300, £200, £150 or £150 for the same respective circumstances.
A letter will be sent to eligible claimants telling them how much they’ll get and an estimated payment date.
The payments may also be affected if the claimant or their partner also gets one of the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
If a claimant has received Winter Fuel Payment s before and they need to report a change of circumstances, cancel future payments or return a payment, they can do this at any point by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment centre.
While the payments should come through automatically, some people may need to claim them.
Winter Fuel Payment s can be claimed over the phone but the claimant will need certain information at the ready.
The claimant will need to detail their National Insurance number, bank account details, BIC and IBAN numbers if they live in the EEA or Switzerland and the date they were married or entered a civil partnership.
If it’s decided that a claimant does not qualify for Winter Fuel Payment s, they can challenge the decision about their claim under mandatory reconsideration rules.
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