Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment warn­ing is­sued

Loughborough Echo - - SHEPSHED SCENE -

A WARN­ING has been is­sued to older peo­ple in Le­ices­ter­shire who have de­ferred their State Pen­sion to ap­ply for the Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment.

Ev­ery win­ter, na­tional poverty char­ity Turn2us is con­tacted by older peo­ple who are eli­gi­ble for, but not re­ceiv­ing, be­tween £100 and £300 to help with their heat­ing bills. Turn2us says that while those born on or be­fore Au­gust 5, 1953, are en­ti­tled to the Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment, those who have de­ferred their State Pen­sion won’t get it paid au­to­mat­i­cally and will need to make a claim.

The warn­ing comes as fig­ures re­leased by the Depart­ment for Work and Pen­sions re­veal that 144,800 peo­ple in Le­ices­ter­shire re­ceived the Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment last Win­ter.

Peo­ple usu­ally get a Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment au­to­mat­i­cally if they are eli­gi­ble and get the State Pen­sion or an­other so­cial se­cu­rity ben­e­fit (not Hous­ing Ben­e­fit, Coun­cil Tax Re­duc­tion, Child Ben­e­fit or Univer­sal Credit). How much peo­ple get de­pends on their cir­cum­stances. Most pay­ments are made au­to­mat­i­cally be­tween Novem­ber and De­cem­ber and any money peo­ple get is tax-free and won’t af­fect their other ben­e­fits.

Si­mon Hop­kins, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Turn2us, said: “It is vi­tal that peo­ple re­ceive the help with their win­ter en­ergy costs that they are en­ti­tled to, par­tic­u­larly older peo­ple whose health is es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to liv­ing in a cold home.”

Peo­ple need to tele­phone the Win­ter Fuel Pay­ment Cen­tre to claim on 03459 151515 (Text­phone 0345 606 0285), which is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. They should have their Na­tional In­surance num­ber and bank or build­ing so­ci­ety details when they call.

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