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Winter Fuel Payment could help older Britons as the weather becomes colder – this is how

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Winter fuel payments are being offered to potentially help hundreds of thousands of Britons with the effects of the season – namely heating bills. These energy bills can often soar, as many have to increase the temperature in their home to keep warm. And with more time spent inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely this winter could prove an expensive one.

To tackle the associated costs, Winter Fuel Payments could be an appropriate, and indeed helpful, solution. 

They are available to those who were born on or before October 5, 1954 and provide £100 and £300 payments to help with heating bills.

There are, however, other eligibility criteria to bear in mind when it comes to the Winter Fuel Payment.

A person must also have lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week for the payment – which is September 21 – 27, 2020.

If they did not live in the UK during this time, they could still be entitled to the payment if both the following criteria apply:

  • a person lives in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • a person has a ‘genuine and sufficient’ link to the UK – including having lived or worked there, or having family resident there

It is worth noting, however, people cannot claim if they live in a number of countries.

These are Cyprus, France, Malta, Gibraltar, Greece, Portugal and Spain because the average winter temperature in these countries is higher than the warmest region of the UK.

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Once a person has worked out if they are eligible, understanding how much they are set to receive can also be important, as this is dependent on circumstances.

If a person qualifies and lives alone, and is born between September 28, 1940 and October 5, 1954, they will receive £200.

But in the same circumstances, if born on or before September 27, 1940, Britons will get £300.

Qualifying people who live with someone under 80 who also qualify will receive either £100 or £200 based on the preceding birth dates, respectively.

But for those who qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies the sum will either be £100 or £150.

Finally, for those who qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits, the sum will either be £100 or £150.

Payments may differ for those who receive particular benefits such as Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support.

However, these payments will be between £200 or £300, so Britons can keep an eye out.

Most Winter Fuel Payments are made automatically, so people can be reassured that in most cases they will not have to take any action.

Most payments are automatically made between November and December, providing an income boost for the festive season.

The government has explained all benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, such as a bank account.

But if for some reason the money is not paid into a person’s account by January 13, 2021, they are encouraged to reach out to the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

This can be achieved through telephone, textphone, or video relay service. 

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