For people born on or before 5 April 1954 they could receive what it known as a “winter fuel payment”. So long as the claimant is eligible, they could receive between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. The payment seems to be aimed towards the elderly, for it will be given automatically if the claimant receives state pension. It is also possible to receive the payment if a social security benefit is being received, so long as the benefit isn’t a council tax reduction, universal credit, child benefit or housing benefit.
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For anyone who doesn’t currently receive the payment but feels they are eligible they should act fast. The deadline for claiming payments for winter ends on 31 March 2020.
There may also be issues with receiving the money as most payments are made between November and December.
The government detail that all the money should be received by 13 2020, as these dates have long since passed there may be administrative issues for new claimants.
Claims will need to be made by anyone who is eligible but doesn’t automatically receive the payment.
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Time is running out to claim support for winter bills (Image: GETTY)
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If there are any further issues with receiving the money the office responsible for the individuals benefits will need to be contacted.
The details for specific offices will be included within any letters that they send to claimants.
The main factor for determining eligibility is date of birth but there are other elements that can affect payouts.
To qualify, the claimant will need to be born on or before 5 April 1954 and they will need to have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 16 to 22 September 2019 – which is called the ‘qualifying week’.
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If the claimant we not in the UK during the qualifying week it may still be possible to receive the payment.
The payment could still be received if the claimant lives in Switzerland or a European Economic Area country and they have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK.
The government provides examples of what a sufficient link could be, which include if the person has worked in the UK or has family living in the country.
There are certain situations which can lead to a claimant not qualifying got the payment.
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It will not be possible to qualify if the claimant is in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year, needs permission to enter the UK and their granted leave states that they cannot claim public funds, were in prison for the qualifying week or lived in a care home for the whole time between 24 June to 22 September 2019 on top of receiving an aforementioned ineligible benefit.
The actual amount received will depend on the claimants circumstances during the qualifying week. The specified circumstances and their corresponding payments depends on date of birth and if the claimaint is living with a partner.
Gas and energy prices tend to rise in the winter (Image: GETTY)
The payments could be altered if the claimant or their partner receives pension credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support. Any amount that the claimant receives will be paid into a designated account. The payments can range from £100 to £300.
The payment in most cases will be done automatically but it may need to be requested by first time claimers. This can be done by phone or post and there is a specific department set up by the government to handle these requests.
First time claimants will need their NI number, bank or building society details and marriage or civil partnership details handy. They will also need to remember what their situation was during the qualifying week. It is also the claimants responsibility to report any changes in their personal circumstances. Certain changes, like moving home or halting another benefit, could affect the payment they receive.