Thanks to a judgement of the European Court many more people will be eligible for Winter Fuel Payments (WFP) this year. In previous years WFPs have only been made to former UK residents who qualified for the payment before leaving the UK and who are now living in the European Economic Area including Spain.
This year you may be eligible to receive WFP if you have a “genuine and sufficient” link with the UK. Several factors are considered in order to assess, for example how long someone has lived and worked in the UK and whether they receive UK State Pension or other benefits.
Who can get Winter Fuel Payment in winter 2012/2013?
WFP used to be payable to all those who had reached age 60 – the Women’s State Pension age. This is currently being increased so that men and women will claim their pension at the same age.
To cut through the maze this means that ALL who have reached the current State Pension age for women (those born on or before 5 July 1951) AND who have a genuine and sufficient link with the UK can get WFP this year (even if they are still working)!
How do I claim Winter Fuel Payment for 2012/2013?
Claim forms for people in the EEA (inc. Spain) are said to be available in late August for download from the Directgov website. Go to the website and search for ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. Once you have downloaded and completed the claim form you should return it promptly to:-
International Pensions Centre, Tyneview Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1BA, UK.
Alternatively you can telephone the International Pensions Centre on 0044 191 218 7777 who will arrange for you to complete a claim form.
The claim form will assess if you have a “genuine and sufficient” link with the UK.
How much is Winter Fuel Payment and when will I be paid?
The amount you will be paid depends on your personal situation:-
If you live alone you will receive £200, or £300 if you are aged 80 or over on 23 September 2012,
An additional payment is made if you live with another person who qualifies for WFP.
Claims received by 21 September should be paid before Christmas 2012. Claims received after 21 September will be paid in 2013. Claims received after 31 March 2013 will not receive a payment for this year as this is the cut-off date. This means that no payment for past winters can be claimed as their cut-off dates have already passed.
I am not aware that any official publicity will be issued about the new eligibility conditions for Winter Fuel Payments so please pass this article to others who may be interested.
The information given is to the best of my knowledge, correct and complete and can be found on various pages of the Directgov website. These issues are always complex when the EU court is involved but I hope I have succeeded in explaining who is now eligible for WFP and how to make a claim.
This article has been put together by Hilary Tompkins, a former Civil Servant, now living in Yunquera in the beautiful surroundings of the Sierra de Las Nieves.
Life moves at a much slower pace for Hilary these days. She spends time tending her garden and finding herself overwhelmed with fresh figs started experimenting in making her own preserves. This has become something of a cottage industry and Hilary has shelves full of home-made marmalades, jams and chutneys. Hilary can be found selling her preserves and also her home baking at many of the charity fund raising events inland and on the coast. Her lemon curd, made to her grandmother’s recipe, is a particular favourite. New this year will be mini Christmas cakes made to a 100 year old family recipe. Ideal for that taste of traditional British Christmas fayre.
If you would like any further information please use the contact form on this website .
If you would like to receive the direct link to the application form once it has been published online, just keep checking back with us and we will keep you informed!
PS. Loved your lemon curd !!!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: THE FORM CAN NOW BE DOWNLOADED VIA THIS LINK
Author: Lisa Sadleir
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