Winter Fuel Payment to apply for help towards heating their homes
this winter. An advertising campaign started in the press this week.
time for Christmas.
Around 11 million people will automatically receive their Winter Fuel
Payment this year, worth at least£200 per household - those already
claiming State Pension or another social security benefit (but not
Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Child Benefit) or have
previously received a Winter Fuel Payment, won't need to apply. And,
as last year, anyone aged 80 or over will get an extra payment of up
Along with the Winter Fuel Payment, this year most households with an
older person aged 70 or over will receive a one-off payment of an
extra£100 to help with additional expenses including council tax
Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks said:
'We've been enjoying a hot spell just now and winter
seems a long way off. But I want to tell people aged 60 and over that
the government will be ensuring many of them have a warmer winter
again this year, with the help of the Winter Fuel Payment.
'This winter about eight million households will benefit from the
£200 Winter Fuel Payment, worth around£4 a week. And around two
million people in these households will also receive the 80+ Annual
Payment of up to£100. This means their household will receive a
total payment of£300.
'What's more, this year we are recognising the extra expenses older
people have to cope with, which is why most households with someone
aged 70 or more will get£100 to help with additional expenses,
including council tax.
'So all eligible pensioner households will be getting a winter fuel
payment of at least£200 this winter, with the over 70s getting£300
and the over 80s getting£400. And these payments are tax-free lump
sums that won't affect anyone's right to receive other benefits.'
Those who haven't received a Winter Fuel Payment before, and won't
get a social security benefit in the qualifying week will need to
claim. The latest date a claim can be received is 30 March 2005.
Mr Wicks added: 'Older people should not have to worry about
keeping their homes warm over the winter months. The government is
determined to continue tackling fuel poverty and the Winter Fuel
Payment is one of the initiatives helping to do this.'
* Anyone aged 60, 70 or 80 or over on or before 26 September 2004 may
* Most eligible people will get their payment automatically. People
who qualify for the 80+ Annual Payment of up to£100, and the one-off
70+ payment, will get the extra money automatically - they will not
need to claim. Eligible people who will receive their Winter Fuel
* those who receive a State Retirement Pension or other social
security benefit (but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or
Child Benefit) in the qualifying week 20-26 September 2004
* those who received a payment last year and whose circumstances have
* Those people who are newly eligible and who need to claim, and have
not already received a claim form, can get one by visiting the Winter
Fuel Payment website - www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/winterfuel, by
calling the helpline on 08459 15 15 15 (0845 601 5613 for textphone
users) or tearing off the coupon in national newspaper
* There is a separate helpline number for queries on the 70+ Payment.
The number is 02920 428 106.
* For people who need to claim to be sure of receiving their Winter
Fuel Payment before Christmas, we must receive their correctly
completed claim form by 24 September 2004. The final deadline for the
receipt of claims for this winter is 30 March 2005.
* More information on Winter Fuel Payments is available in an
information leaflet 'Your guide to Winter Fuel Payments', which will
be widely available locally, and also on the Pension Service website.
* The Winter Fuel Payment Helpline is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday and calls are charged at local rates.