Winter Fuel Allowance Can Help Elderly Combat Rising Heat Oil Costs

  • Added:
    Nov 01, 2012
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The cold weather brings stress and worry to many older people. The rising home heating oil prices and fuel costs have had a significant impact on elderly people in the UK. Citizens who are living on pensions find that their heating bills have increased drastically in the winter. Many elderly people are in ill health and keeping their homes warm is very important to reduce the risk of pneumonia and other illnesses.

There are many ways that the UK government endeavours to help elderly citizens afford their heating costs throughout the winter. One of the main initiatives to help with heating oil prices is the Winter Fuel Payment.

How the Winter Fuel Payment Works

If you or someone in your household was born on or before the 5th of July, 1951 you could receive between £100 and £300 tax free to help subsidise the cost of your heating bills. This is known as the “Winter Fuel Payment” and it is a tax break that you don’t have to pay back. The payment is made automatically and it is usually received in November or December and should arrive before Christmas.

If you already receive the State Pension, or another social security benefit you will automatically receive a Winter Fuel Payment which will be paid into your bank account. If you do qualify but are not registered to receive the payment, you can make a claim. You should only need to make a claim once and the money will be automatically transferred every year as long as your circumstances do not change. The money that you receive will not affect any of your other benefits and is to be used to cover the cost of domestic heating oil or fuel bills to heat your home.

Other Government Schemes

In addition to the Winter Fuel Allowance, you might also receive an extra Cold Weather Payment. This occurs when the weather has been especially cold. You will receive an extra £25 per week when the average temperature has been below zero degrees Celsius for more than seven days in a row.

You might also be able to benefit from the Warm Front program, which is a government-funded scheme in England which offers homeowners grants to improve their homes with better heating and insulation. In order to be eligible for these grants, your property must be assessed and be determined to be not energy efficient. If you receive certain benefits such as Pension Credit, you can apply as a homeowners or a private tenant.

These are just a few of the ways that the UK government assists elderly people who are struggling with rising heating oil prices, so that they can keep themselves warm and healthy in their own homes.

The government has many initiatives in place to help the elderly deal with rising heating oil prices and there are many sites that can also help with cutting the cost of heating oil.

Author's Profile

James Charles is a frequent contributor for Fuelfighter and has written many articles pertaining to all things regarding domestic heating oil, energy saving tips especially on such subjects as making the best of your precious boilerjuice for your heating requirements.

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