Winter Fuel Payment: Britons could get up to £300 – but warning some will miss out
Winter fuel payments: Johnson responds to calls for expansion
Winter Fuel Payments are designed to offer financial support with heating bills during particularly cold months. The payment, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), runs to March 31, 2021, to provide important help to those who need it most. Under the scheme, eligible people can receive anywhere between £100 and £300, dependent on their circumstances.
It is available to many people who were born on or before October 6, 1954, and should be issued automatically in most cases.
However, there are eligibility rules to bear in mind when it comes to the Winter Fuel Payment, and this could mean some lose out.
To be eligible, Britons must have lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week of September 21 to 27, 2020.
But the payment is also available to expats living in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) who have what is known as a ‘genuine and sufficient’ link to the UK.
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This can include previously having lived and worked in the UK, or having family who are still resident there.
However, some will find they will not be able to unlock entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment due to a set of rules.
Thankfully, the government has clearly laid these instances out to avoid any confusion that may otherwise ensue.
Its website reads: “You cannot get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.
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“This is because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.”
Some expats, then, will be left disappointed that this payment is not made available to them.
However, there are also other eligibility criteria to bear in mind which may exclude others from receiving the sum from the government this winter.
Those residents in a care home for the whole week from June 29 to September 27, 2020 who were in receipt of the following benefits will not be able to qualify:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
In addition, if someone is in hospital and in receipt of free treatment for more than a year, they will not receive a payment.
Finally, those who need permission to enter the UK, and whose granted leave states public funds cannot be claimed will not qualify.
However, this is not the end of the road for the support these individuals can claim.
The government has prompted people in these circumstances to see if they could unlock a Cold Weather Payment or Warm Home Discount.
These are alternative schemes providing financial support with additional costs this winter.
How much a person receives through the Winter Fuel Payment scheme is dependent on their circumstances during the qualifying week.
But the money received by individuals will be tax-free and will not affect other benefits.
While many have already received their payment if they are eligible, those who believe they are entitled and have not, should take action on the matter.
If a person does not receive their money by January 13 2021, in just a few days time, they are encouraged to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
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