If you're over 60 or on a low-income you could be eligible for help towards the cost of your energy bills this winter - we explain who qualifies for this extra payment.
With the winter nights drawing in and temperatures dropping, many of us will be turning up our heating to help keep warm.
But as frugal as so many of us try to be with our heating, gas and electricity bills can still mount up and will be more of a drain on your household finances during the coldest months of the year.
Fortunately there's help at hand for those who are aged 60 and over or are on a low-income - though the payout you'll get is dependent on a combination of different circumstances.
We explain how to claim Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments to help towards the cost of heating your home.
A Winter Fuel Payment can be anything between £100 and £300.
If you are aged over 60 and are getting a State Pension or another benefit (though this doesn't include Council Tax benefit, Housing Benefit, or Child Benefit), your Winter Fuel Payment should automatically be paid to you along with your pension or benefit. You'll also be eligible for a payment if your partner is getting Pension Credit or Income Support, and has already received a Winter Fuel Payment.
If you're aged over 60 but don't receive State Pension or another benefit, you'll find how to claim your Winter Fuel Payment using these instructions. To support your claim you can use these notes. You can also pick up this form at your local Post Office or JobCentre Plus.
The amount of help you'll get towards your heating costs from the Winter Fuel Payment varies depending on your circumstances.
A Cold Weather Payment is designed to help those on a low-income cope with the cost of heating their home at times when it's particularly cold in the area they live.
You'll be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you receive Income Support or have a pensioner premium, disability premium, disabled child premium, Child Tax Credit (that includes a disability element) or if you have a child under 5 years old.
If you're eligible for a Cold Weather Payment, you'll receive £25 for every week that the average temperature in your local area drops to 0 degrees C or lower for 7 days in a row, between 1st November and 31st March. There's no need to apply for the payment - you should receive it directly into your bank account for every week that the temperature drops below zero for 7 consecutive days.
If you think you are eligible for either the Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment but haven't received anything, it's worth contacting JobCentre Plus and explaining your situation, as they may be able to back-date payments for you as well as make sure you are getting either the relevant help from now on.
It's also worth visiting Direct.gov if you'd like to find out more about the winter fuel payments.
I think the age restriction on the Winter Fuel payments should be reviewed. You have to have been born before 5th July 1950 to be able to claim it this year but what about the people born after that date, they will still be 60 before or during the winter this year but are unable to claim. I'm one of them and I can't get this payment till next year, what good does that do me during this winter when I am classed as a pensioner but can't claim what I should be entitled to. Tax and stamps have been paid all during your working life and when you think you can get help when you need it, a piece of " red Tape" stands in the way yet again.
im 37 on dla esa and get a carers premium for my care am i eligable
I am 61 born 14/08/51 can I claim heating ollowence
i am 61 this july i am on job seekers allowance and we had a cold spell 2 weeks ago in southampton yet i get told this stupid law says i cant get it the way this government is running the country there will no one eligable for help cant wait till we can get rid of them.
I would get rid off all politicians .They are corrupt scum .
I am 23 but in receipt of disability living allowance. Am I eligible for help towards winter fuel payments? I know I am for cold whether payments.
I am 29 and disabled, not onky that but my.mobility is severely compromised in the winter due to severe arthritis. Would be lovely if we were eligible but we aren't. I find this appalling, just because I am 36 years younger than those eligible doesn't mean a) don't need help or b) suffer any less.
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