Keeping warm in winter

Pensioners and some other people who are at risk of fuel poverty can get help towards their heating costs - don't miss out.

Winter Fuel Payments

You could get a winter fuel payment (worth between £100 to £300) to help pay your heating bill in 2018/19 if you were born before before 5 November 1953. Please note that this date changes every year. To find out when you may qualify for a winter fuel payment, state pension or pension credit:

Who can claim

Winter Fuel Payments are paid automatically between November and December each year if:

  • you get a retirement pension or certain other benefits
  • or you received a payment last year.

If you qualify but don't get paid automatically, you'll need to make a claim by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

It does not matter how much income or savings you have, and payments will not affect your other benefits or pension.

How to claim

To learn more, or make a claim, visit the Winter Fuel Payment page on the Gov.UK website.

Cold Weather Payments

These are paid for each week of exceptionally cold weather to help towards extra heating costs. You can get this if you receive any of the following benefits.

  • pension credit (any rate)
  • Income Support; income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit and:
    • you are responsible for a child under the age of five
    • or your benefits include extra amounts because you have a long term illness or disability
    • or your Child Tax Credit includes an extra amount because you have a child with a disability or special needs.

For you to receive this help, the average temperature where you live must be (or be forecast to be) zero degrees centigrade or below for seven days in a row between 1 November and 31 March.

You will get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for each seven-day cold period.

The payment is made automatically, so there is no need to claim.

Warm Home discount scheme

This provides a £140 rebate on your heating bill in winter for some people on low incomes. The scheme mostly targets older people receiving Pension Credit, but other people on low incomes may also get this help. To qualify, your electricity provider must be participating in the scheme.

Energy company trust grants

Some utility providers have trust funds that can help by giving grants to some of their customers to help pay for gas and electricity arrears and other essential domestic bills.

To find out more about grants from utility providers, visit the Charis website.