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Fees & Funding > Do All Pensioners Get Winter Fuel Allowance?

Do All Pensioners Get Winter Fuel Allowance?

Money on a radiator

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual UK tax-free cost of living payment worth £250 to £600. How much you’re eligible for each winter will depend on your age, any benefits you claim and the personal circumstances of anybody else you live with.

This benefit helps people above the State Pension age with heating costs during the winter months. Also known as a Winter Fuel Allowance, we’ve looked at whether all pensioners get a Winter Fuel Payment.


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In this article:

  1. What is the Winter Fuel Payment?
  2. Do all pensioners get a Winter Fuel Payment?
  3. Am I eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment?
  4. Winter Fuel Payment rates 2023/2024
  5. When do you get it?
  6. How to claim Winter Fuel Payment
  7. Challenging a decision



What Is the Winter Fuel Payment?

The Winter Fuel Payment is a one-off, annual payment for households that include somebody born on or before the 24th September 1957 (above the State Pension age).

This benefit is tax-free, and it also doesn’t count as income when working out your entitlement to other benefits. However, the amount you’re eligible to receive will depend on your personal circumstances (we’ve explained these later on).

This qualification date for pensioners to apply for a winter fuel allowance changes every year. For the winter of 2023/2024, the qualifying week was between the 18th and 24th of September 2023.

The Winter Fuel Payment is for people living in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

People eligible for the 2023/24 Winter Fuel Payment will also receive an extra £150 or £300 Pensioner Cost of Living payment.




Do All Pensioners Get A Winter Fuel Payment?

All pensioners are eligible to receive a Winter Fuel Payment for the winter of 2023/2024, provided you’re living in the UK during the qualifying week (the 18th to 24th of September). If you’ve previously received this payment, you should get it automatically.

You’ll be classed as a pensioner if you’ve reached the State Pension age. Currently, this is 66 for men and women in the UK, and you can check your qualifying age here.


The only way you won’t be eligible as a pensioner is if any of the following apply or applied during the qualifying week:

  • You lived in a care home for the previous 12 weeks or more and received certain benefits
  • You were in prison
  • You were in the hospital receiving free treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • You required permission to enter the UK and didn’t qualify for support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • You were living abroad (though you may still be eligible if you lived in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country and have a strong link to the UK
  • You lived in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain (as these countries have higher average winter temperatures than the UK)



Am I Eligible For a Winter Fuel Payment?

To be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment, you or someone else in your household will need to qualify for the State Pension. At least one person in your household will need to be above the State Pension age during the yearly qualifying week. For 2023/2024, this was between the 18th and 24th of September 2023.

This qualifying date of birth is published and updated on the GOV.UK website each year.

For the winter of 2023 to 2024, you’ll be eligible if you were born on or before the 24th of September 1957 and are living in the UK for at least one day of the qualifying week.




Winter Fuel Payment Rates 2023/2024 (How Much You’ll Get)

If you were born before the 24th of September 1957, you could receive a Winter Fuel Payment worth between £250 and £600. This amount includes a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment which is worth between £150 and £300. If eligible, you’ll receive both of these payments in the winter of 2023/2024.


Here are the Winter Fuel Payment rates for 2023/2024, depending on your circumstances:

Your Personal Circumstances You were born between 25th September 1943 and 24th September 1957 You were born on or before 25th September 1943
You’re eligible and live alone (or nobody you live with is eligible) £500 £600
You’re eligible and live with somebody aged under 80 who is also eligible £250 £350
You’re eligible and live with somebody aged 80 or over who is also eligible £250 £300
You’re eligible, live in a care home and don’t receive relevant benefits (see below) £250 £300

If you or your partner receive any of the following benefits, you may be entitled to a larger amount of payment:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You could also be eligible for a separate £900 Cost of Living Payment.


Here are the 2023/2024 Winter Fuel Payment rates for people receiving at least one of these benefits:

Your Personal Circumstances You were born between 25th September 1943 and 24th September 1957 You were born on or before 25th September 1943
You’re eligible, receive at least one of the benefits and live alone (or none of the people you live with is eligible) £500 £600
You’re eligible and live with a partner who is also eligible, and either of you receives at least one of the benefits £500 (but only one of you will get the payment) £600 (but only one of you will get the payment)
You’re eligible and live with somebody other than your partner who is also eligible, and either of you receives at least one of the benefits £500 (you’ll both get this payment) £600 (you’ll both get this payment)

If you live in a care home and claim any of Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you won’t be eligible to claim a Winter Fuel Payment.




When Do You Get the Winter Fuel Payment?

The majority of Winter Fuel Payments are automatically made in November or December. The first payment was made for Winter 2022 to 2023, and the second is due to be paid for Winter 2023 to 2024.

Before this payment is made, you’ll get a letter explaining how much you’re due to receive, along with an estimated payment date. This payment will be sent directly to your bank account.

If you don’t receive a letter, or the money you’re expecting hasn't been paid into your account by the 26th of January 2024, you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre Be sure to double-check your bank account before getting in touch.




How To Claim Winter Fuel Payment

If you’ve previously received a Winter Fuel Payment or you receive State Pension (or a different social security benefit that isn’t Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Universal Credit, Child Benefit or a deferred State Pension), you don’t need to claim and should be paid a winter fuel allowance automatically.

If you haven’t applied before and don’t receive a State Pension or any of the correct benefits, you’ll need to apply to receive this payment.

You can claim for winter 2023 to 2024 from the 18th of September 2023.

You can claim by calling the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160. You’ll need to provide your National Insurance number and bank or building society details.

You can also claim by downloading a claim form and posting this. The form to claim a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 will be available through the link above at a later date.


Winter fuel payment letter





Challenging A Winter Fuel Payment Decision

If you’ve applied for a Winter Fuel Payment and disagree with the decision made on your claim, you’re usually able to ask for this to be looked at again. This is known as a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

If you disagree with the following decision, the next step is appealing to an independent tribunal.

You’ll find more guidance on appealing a benefit decision through GOV.UK.






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Frequently Asked Questions

Why haven’t I received my Winter Fuel Payment?

If you think you’ve missed a Winter Fuel Payment, be sure to double-check your bank statement first. Payments will be made to the same account your State Pension is sent to, but will appear with a reference beginning with your National Insurance number, followed by ‘DWP WFP’.

If you haven’t received a payment you were due to get, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

Do married couples both get Winter Fuel Payments?

The Winter Fuel Payment is usually made to individual households with somebody over the State Pension age. If you’re married and live together, you’ll receive one joint payment for your household, rather than separate payments.

However, this one-off payment could be larger (up to £600) if you both qualify and live together.

Do I have to apply for Winter Fuel Payment?

In most cases, you don’t have to apply for a Winter Fuel Payment. If eligible, you should automatically receive it. If you haven’t received a Winter Fuel Payment before, don’t receive a State Pension or certain other benefits, you’ll need to apply.

What month do I get my Winter Fuel Payment?

Most Winter Fuel Payments will be made automatically in November or December. The vast majority of people can expect to have received their payment by Christmas.

Before getting this money, you’ll be sent a letter telling you how much you’re due to receive and which bank account it’ll go to (this will usually be the same account as the one for your State Pension or any other benefits).

Does everyone over 60 get a Winter Fuel Payment?

Not all households containing somebody aged 60 or over are entitled to help towards their energy costs during the winter. Instead, you need to have reached the State Pension age to qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment.

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