Winter Fuel Payments are specifically designed to assist eligible people with the cost of their heating bills as Britain experiences a cold snap. With more time spent indoors, it is likely energy bills will soar, and the payments could offer vital aid to certain people. The sum will be available to those born on or before October 5, 1954, who lived in the UK during what is known as the qualifying week.
The ‘qualifying week’ in this cycle is September 21 to September 27, 2020, but for those who did not live in the UK all hope is not lost.
This is because those with a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ to the UK, such as living and working there previously, can also claim.
Payments are also accessible for individuals living in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
Winter Fuel Payments are usually issued automatically if a person is eligible, but there will be some instances where a person needs to take action.
READ MORE: PIP: Claimants could be entitled to an extra £4,600 in cash
However, it is not available to those who receive Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit.
The Government has explained that if a person receives neither of these, or if they live abroad, they will have to make a claim.
While the common payment date has passed, it does not mean it is not possible to receive a Winter Fuel Payment this year.
In fact, Britons have up until March 31, 2021 to make a claim for the sum of money.
However, the DWP also requires bank details in order for the Winter Fuel Payment itself to be issued.
The form will then ask a series of questions entitled ‘More information we need to know’ which outlines a person’s circumstances.
This includes whether they live alone, were in hospital, or in a care home during the qualifying week.
Alternatively, Britons can also claim a Winter Fuel Payment by phone, but will also need similar information to hand.
Finally, it is important to note when selecting the bank a person wishes the payment to be issued to, an NS&I account cannot be chosen, unless they already get other benefits paid here.