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Winter fuel payments
A winter fuel payment is a yearly tax-free payment to help people pay for their heating in the winter. Getting the winter fuel payment does not affect any other benefits you may get.
Who qualifies
You qualify for a winter fuel payment if:1Reg 2 SFWFP Regs
    you have reached pension age by the end of the qualifying week’. This is the week beginning on the third Monday in September; and
    you are ordinarily resident in Great Britain for at least one day during the qualifying week. Note: you may also be entitled if you live in Switzerland or in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, excluding Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain; and
    you claim in time (if a claim is required – see below); and
    you are not excluded under the rules below.
1     Reg 2 SFWFP Regs »
You are excluded from entitlement if, during the qualifying week (see above):1Regs 2 and 3 SFWFP Regs
    you are serving a custodial sentence (throughout the week); or
    you have been receiving free inpatient treatment for more than 52 weeks in a hospital or similar institution; or
    you are receiving PC, income-based JSA or income-related ESA and you are living in residential care. You count as living in residential care if you are living in a care home throughout the qualifying week and the 12 preceding weeks, disregarding any temporary absences;2Reg 1(2) and (3) SFWFP Regsor
    you are a person subject to immigration control (although there are exceptions to this rule).
1     Regs 2 and 3 SFWFP Regs »
2     Reg 1(2) and (3) SFWFP Regs »
Amount of payment
Note: in winter 2022, an additional ‘pensioner cost of living payment’ was added to winter fuel payments.1The Social Fund Winter Fuel Payment (Temporary Increase) Regulations 2022 No.813 This will happen again in 2023/24. It means that your winter fuel payment is increased by either £300 or £150, depending on who lives with you. The payment will be made automatically to all households where someone is paid a winter fuel payment (or, when introduced, its replacement in Scotland). Only one pensioner cost of living payment is made per household – eg, if both you and your partner get a winter fuel payment, only one is increased by £300. See
Winter fuel payment rates
Born between 27 September 1941 and 26 September 1955
Born on or before 26 September 1941
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)
You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies
You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies
You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits
1     The Social Fund Winter Fuel Payment (Temporary Increase) Regulations 2022 No.813 »
Claiming and getting paid
You should automatically receive a payment without having to make a claim if:
    you received a payment the previous year and your circumstances are the same; or
    in the qualifying week, you are getting a state retirement pension; or
    in the qualifying week, you are getting any other social security benefit; but this does not apply if you are only getting child benefit, UC or housing benefit, and it does not apply if you only get council tax reduction, which is not a benefit.1Reg 4 SFWFP Regs
Otherwise, you must claim a winter fuel payment before 31 March following the qualifying week.2Reg 3(1)(b) SFWFP Regs To try to ensure you receive your payment before Christmas, submit your claim before the qualifying week. Claim via the winter fuel payment helpline on 0800 731 0160 (textphone 0800 731 0176) or download a claim form from
If you are a member of a couple and your partner is receiving IS, income-based JSA or income-related ESA, the payment can be made to either of you (even if your partner is under pension age).3Reg 36(2) SS(C&P) Regs
Payments are usually made between mid-November and Christmas.
1     Reg 4 SFWFP Regs »
2     Reg 3(1)(b) SFWFP Regs »
3     Reg 36(2) SS(C&P) Regs »
Challenging a decision
Decisions can be challenged by mandatory reconsideration request and appeal. To get a decision, you may have to submit a written claim and request a written decision.