Are you entitled to up to £600 towards the cost of energy bills this winter?

The sum is a combination of the winter fuel payment and pensioner cost of living funds – find you what you’re eligible for and how to apply.

Like last year, the Government is topping up winter fuel payments by an extra amount of up to £300 to help with the cost of living crisis. If you were born on or before September 24 1957 and live in the UK, you should be automatically eligible for the payment and receive a letter in October or November telling you how much you will get.

The amount you receive is based on your circumstances between September 18 and 24 2023 – what’s known as the “qualifying week”. Those eligible for the winter fuel payment will get the pensioner cost of living payment too – it’s tax-free and won’t affect any other benefits you are claiming.

Make sure you don't miss out on what you're entitled to this winterCredit: Shutterstock/
Make sure you don’t miss out on what you’re entitled to this winter

How much will you get?

Your age and living circumstances are deciding factors

The amount depends on your personal circumstances – the winter fuel payment is usually smaller if you live in a care home or nursing home and don’t get pension credit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support allowance.

The amount an eligible person living alone will receive ranges from £500 to £600 depending on their date of birth. If you’re eligible and live with another eligible person, you’ll get between £250 and £600. In some instances, both parties will be eligible for a payment, while in others only one payment will be paid per couple. For a more detailed age breakdown, visit the website.


Who isn’t eligible for the winter fuel payment?

  • Anyone who’s been in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year.
  • People needing permission to enter the UK and their granted leave states that they cannot claim public funds.
  • Those who are in prison for the whole week of September 18-24 2023.
  • Anyone who has lived in a care home for the whole period between June 26 and September 24 2023, and received pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support allowance.

How to put in a new claim

How to claim if you haven’t received the winter fuel payment before

By post from September 18 2023.

By phone from October 4 2023.

The deadline to make a claim for this winter’s payment is March 31 2024.

If you receive any of these benefits, you should get the winter fuel payment automatically without needing to claim:

  • state pension
  • pension credit
  • attendance allowance
  • personal independence payment (PIP)
  • carers allowance
  • disability living allowance (DLA)
  • income support
  • income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • awards from the war pensions scheme
  • industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • incapacity benefit
  • industrial death benefit

Written by Bev Hislop