Everything you need to know about the winter fuel payment

Lit gas hob.
Do you know if you’re eligible for help towards your heating bills this winter? 

The winter fuel payment, also called the heating allowance, is a tax-free payment towards the cost of heating bills, for people who were aged 66 or older on the 25 September this year. This isn’t a new scheme: the winter fuel payment is paid annually, but with the cost of living soaring right now, it’s never been more vital. Here’s a quick guide to all the essential facts about the winter fuel payment.

Who gets the winter fuel payment?

Anyone born on or before 25 September 1956, who lives in the UK. 

(The key here is that you need to be living in the UK for at least one day of the qualifying week’ of 19–25 September 2022. That said, you may still qualify if you are living in Switzerland or an EEA country and have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK, so it’s worth checking your eligibility.)

How much will my winter fuel payment be?

It will be between £250 and £600. The amount varies depending on your age, living situation, and whether you receive certain benefits. You can find out your exact amount here.

This is higher than the amount distributed in previous years because of an additional cost of living payment added to the usual winter fuel payment.

How do I get the winter fuel payment?

You will be paid automatically (no need to apply) as long as you are eligible and receive the State Pension or another social security benefit (not including if the only benefit you get is the Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you do need to claim, you can do so by calling the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 or filling out a claim form and return it by post. 

Before you phone, there are a few things you’ll need to have ready:

  • National Insurance number

  • Bank or building society details

  • Date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if applicable)

Your payment should be paid directly to your account in November or December 2022. You won’t be told the exact date, so you’ll need to check your account during this time to make sure you’ve received it. If you’ve not received your payment by 13 January 2023, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160.

Looking for more help with your bills and expenses this winter in the rising cost of living? You’ll find information about the energy bill support scheme and other essentials here.