Heating benefits

Someone turning on their radiator

The Winter Fuel Payment is a sum of money that the government has made available to help older people with their winter heating bills.

You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free if you were born on or before 5th May 1953.


Most payments are made automatically between November and December.  
  • Who is entitled to a winter fuel payment?

    • You usually get a winter fuel payment automatically if you get the state pension.  

      If not, but you were born before the 5th January 1953, you may be eligible but will have to claim.

      How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week.  

      The qualifying week for winter 2016 to 2017 is 19 to 25 September 2016.

      Any money you get is tax-free and won’t affect your other benefits.  

      It also isn’t means tested.

      The exact amount you are entitled to depends upon your circumstances, including whether you live with a partner and whether you or they are over 80.

      You can find out more by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 03459 51515 or by asking your customer service partner or support worker.
  • How and when you're paid

    • You’ll get a letter telling you how much you’ll get and an estimated payment date.

      Most payments are made automatically between November and December.
  • When you won't qualify

    • You won’t qualify if throughout the week of 19 to 25 September 2016.

      •    were in prison
      •    were in hospital getting free treatment for more than 52 weeks
      •    lived in a care home for the previous 12 weeks or more and get Pension Credit, income-based Jobseekers' Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Change of circumstance

    • Report any change of circumstance as these can affect how much you get.  

      For example, if your partner stops getting a benefit, moves out, dies or goes into care.

      Contact the office paying your benefits - their details are on any letters they sent you.
  • How to claim

    • You can’t claim Winter Fuel Payment for 2016 to 2017 after 31 March 2017. Claims after that date will be rejected.

      You need to claim winter fuel payment if you’ve not had it before and either of the following apply:

      •    you don’t get benefits or a state pension
      •    you only get housing benefit, council tax reduction or child benefitld get your money before Christmas.
  • What if I disagree with a decision?

  • The Warm Home Discount Scheme

    • For winter 2016 to 2017, you could get £140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

      It wouldn’t be paid directly to you, but as a one off discount on your electricity bill.

      For more information about applying and to see if you qualify visit their website.

      If you need help checking to see if you qualify or need help applying, speak to your customer service partner or support worker.


Telephone: 03459 15 15 15 


Telephone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7777


Textphone: 0345 606 0285 


Textphone from outside the UK: +44 (0)191 218 7280


Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal. 



Cold Weather Payment


Under this government scheme you could get a Cold Weather Payment if you're getting certain benefits.



You are entitled to a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days.


The payment scheme runs from 1 November 2016 to 31 March 2017. You'll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between those dates.
Are you getting the best deal for your energy?
You could save hundreds of pounds a year on your bills by switching supplier or changing tariffs with your current supplier. Use a price comparison site, which should all display the Ofgem Confidence Code logo. Have a copy of your most recent bill to hand as this should tell you how much energy you have used in the past year.


Make sure that the supplier also offers you any discounts you may be entitled to such as the Warm Home Discount, and any special tariffs you need such as Economy 7 or Economy 10.


If you have a smart meter you should still be able to switch but you may lose the ‘smart’ functions of your meter.