Winter is a harsh time of year for households, especially when it comes to covering the cost of energy bills. The Government’s Winter Fuel Payment, however, may offer households up to £300 to help keep households warm if they meet the eligibility criteria. Which? takes a look at who qualifies for the Winter Fuel Payment and how to make sure that you don’t miss out.

What is the Winter Fuel Payment?

The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free payment from the government, which helps older people with their energy bills during the winter months. The scheme was introduced around 20 years ago and the payments are made automatically each year.

Who is eligible?

The Winter Fuel Payment is made automatically to each eligible person in a household. Every person who qualifies will receive a letter explaining their individual payment details. To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment you must:- Be born on or before the 5th August 1953 Have lived in the UK for at least one day during the “qualifying week.” This year the qualifying week for winter 2017-18 ran from 18th September to 24th September 2017. Those who qualify will receive a letter explaining their individual payment details.

Who has to register?

There are certain circumstances where you may not be automatically signed up to the scheme, even though you meet the eligibility criteria. You may have to register for the Winter Fuel Payment yourself if any of the following apply: You don’t get benefits or a State Pension You only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax reduction, child benefit or universal credit You get benefits or a state pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country

For the full story, please click here to visit the Which? website.