By Jo Pugh •
Published: 24 Sep 2023 • 9:25
The DWP has announced Winter Fuel Payments. Credit: Freepik
Households with at least one person aged between 66 and 79 are likely to receive £500 as part of the Winter Fuel Payment.
The support will help millions of UK households from November, the Government confirmed. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently published the 2023/24 Winter Fuel Payment guidance with a full breakdown of how it’ll help with heating bills over the colder months.
DWP Pensions Minister Laura Trott MBE MP also said households with someone aged 80 and over will receive £600. In a written response to Sir David Evennett MP, Ms Trott said: “Over eight million UK households on eligible means tested benefits, including the 1.4 million pensioners currently in receipt of Pension Credit, will receive additional cost of living payments totalling up to £900 in the 2023/24 financial year.
“In addition, over eight million pensioner households will receive a £300 pensioner cost of living payment as a top up to their Winter Fuel Payment later this year increasing payments to £500 for households with someone aged 66-79 and £600 for households with someone aged 80 and over.”
As part of the UK Government’s new cost of living financial support package, if you are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment in 2023/24, you will also get an extra £150 or £300 top-up with your normal payment from November, reported the Daily Record.
This means eligible households could receive between £250 and £600 – a list of eligible households and corresponding payment can be found further down this article.
Some 11.4 million people over State Pension age received up to £600 in Winter Fuel Payments and cost of living support by December last year. If you are eligible, you will receive a letter in October from the DWP telling you how much money you are due to be paid.
The primary reason why Spain isn’t considered to be an eligible country is because it is just too warm. According to the official UK government website, “you cannot get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK”.
There are some regions in Spain where homeowners never need to turn their heating on, and on the occasions that there are cold spells where many houses in the country tend to get even colder than it is outside, many householders will use just one or two radiator units to heat their homes.
Of course, there are parts of Spain (such as the interior and mountainous regions) where winters can be cooler (in fact, some of these regions have temperatures that are colder than the UK average) but these don’t tend to be as popular with expats.
UK citizens living in Spain did used to be able to claim winter fuel payments if they met all of the other eligibility criteria, but this was scrapped in 2015. The main reason why this benefit was revoked was because many UK taxpayers were angry that UK winter fuel payments were going to help people that lived in countries that were generally warmer than the UK. It is likely that, because they presumed that international residents did not need to heat their homes, many of these recipients were using their payments for items other than winter fuel.
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
Italy is still considered a cold country but Spain and France were said to be warm because Ian Duncan Smith used their overseas territories temperatures added to the mainland temperatures to increase their average temperatures. Italy doesn’t have any overseas territories so he couldn’t do that for there
Disgraceful that brits in spain get nothing. Air conditioning is essential in many places and this is using electricity the same as heating. I am 89 years of age and expected to live on E400 , my total english pension
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