MILLIONS of retirees can get extra cash to help with energy bills worth up to £300.
Anyone getting the state pension should get the winter fuel payment to help cover the extra cost of heating in the winter months.
Usually the payment is made automatically and how much energy bill help you get depends on your circumstances.
But in some case, eligible people might not have got the money, and they will need to apply instead by the end of today – or they will miss out.
It comes as bills are rocketing by 54% on average, from tomorrow.
Winter fuel payments are a tax-free payment that comes from the government each year and is worth between £100 and £300.
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How much you get depends on your age and whether you get certain benefits, and getting the payment won’t affect them.
Anyone who is eligible but doesn’t get it automatically needs to apply by the end of today (March 31).
January 14 is the latest day by which the money should have arrived automatically.
It’s paid in the same way as you get your state pension payments and winter fuel payments are usually made between November and December.
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The money is designed to help older people with the cost of heating their homes over winter, which has rocketed this year because of an energy crisis.
So it’s worth checking you’ve received the extra payment during this times.
Some people who are eligible but could miss out on the cash are those who live abroad in Switzerland or another EEA country.
Those who have reached state pension age but have delayed claiming their state pension could also be affected.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Each year, winter fuel payments support over 11million people with their energy bills.
“The vast majority of those eligible receive their payments automatically, but some people may need to make a claim.
“This can be done right up until March 31, 2022 by contacting our Winter Fuel Payment Centre.”
How do I claim the winter fuel payment?
You can make a claim by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Centre either by post, phone or email.
The contact details will depend on where you live and a full list can be found on the gov.uk website.
You’ll need the following information to hand.
- your National Insurance number
- your bank or building society details
- your BIC and IBAN numbers if you live in the EEA or Switzerland
- the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate)
You’ also need to tell them if you were in hospital or residential home during what’s known as the qualifying week of September 20-26, 2021.
Who is eligible for winter fuel payments?
Both the following need to apply to be eligible for winter fuel payments, according to gov.uk:
- you were born on or before 26 September 1955
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 20 to 26 September 2021 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
You may still be eligible if you lived in Switzerland or another EEA country in that period, but you won’t get the payment automatically and will have to apply.
The same goes for if you can prove a sufficient link with the UK, like having lived and worked here, or have family here, but were not living her in the qualifying week.
You won’t get the payment if you live in the following countries though because of the warm weather there: Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.
You won’t get the payment if you are in hospital for more then a year getting free treatment and in some other circumstances.
You can find more about when you’re not eligible on gov.uk.
How much will I get for the winter fuel payment?
If you’re eligible, the amount you can get from the winter fuel payment ranges from £100 up to £300.
It depends on your age, if you live with someone else who also qualifies and their age too.
If you or someone you live with qualified for certain other benefits like pension credit, this also affects the amount.
For instance if you live alone and were born before September 26, 1941, you will get £300.
But if you were born between September 27, 1941 and 26 September, 1955, and live with someone else aged under 80 who also qualifies you’ll get £100.
Other help you can get with energy bills
If you don’t get the winter fuel payment, or you do and are still struggling with energy bills you could get other hep too.
Brits on low incomes can get £25 payment when temperatures fall and thousands of payments have already been made.
See if you’ve got one of the cold weather payments with the postcode checker.
Energy companies offer hardship funds, for example you can get £750 from British Gas if you’re a customer.
Households on pension credit or low incomes may qualify for the warm home discount scheme worth £140 – but this has now closed until next winter.
Your local council may also be able to help with grants if you are struggling with food or energy bills through the Household Support Scheme which has just been extended.
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Millions of households are getting a £150 council tax rebate – see if you’re eligible.
In October billpayers will also get a £200 discount on their energy bill – but this will have to be repaid over the next five years.
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