For more information about welfare benefits, call our helpline on 03000 030 555.

Ringing our helpline never costs more than a local call. Lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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Welfare benefits

Help with heating costs

Winter Fuel payments

A Winter Fuel payment is a tax-free payment for people born on or before 5 January 1953 to help pay heating costs. It is paid automatically every year between November and December. If you don’t receive this automatically, and are eligible, you can make a claim on the website. Winter fuel payments do not depend on how cold the weather gets.

Cold weather payments

This is only paid when the temperature in your area falls to zero degrees Celsius or below for a period of 7 days between 1 November and 31 March. These payments are usually made to people on the following income-related benefits:

  • Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance because you are aged 60 or over
  • Income Support or Income-based Employment and Support Allowance and have a child under 5 or are responsible for a disabled child
  • Income Support if you are long-term sick or disabled
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

You can find out more about the cold weather criteria on the website.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount Scheme (WHD) is run with electricity providers and gives a one-off discount on your winter electricity bill. If you qualify for the discount, you'll get a letter in the autumn or winter.

In 2017-2018 winter, you qualified if, on 9 July 2017:

  • your supplier is part of the scheme, and
  • your name or your partner’s was on the bill, and
  • you were getting the guaranteed credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

You may also be able to claim this rebate under the broader group rules if you are classed as being in a vulnerable group, for example if you have an illness or disability. Electricity providers will have their own criteria for eligibility under the broader group.

The participating suppliers in this scheme are: Atlantic, Bristol Energy, British Gas, Co-operative energy, Economy Energy, EDF, E.ON,  Extra Energy, First Utility, Fischer Energy, Flow Energy, M&S Energy, npower, Our Power, OVO, ScottishPower, Spark Energy, SSE, Utilita and Utility Warehouse.

Call your energy supplier or the Warm Home Discount Helpline on 0345 603 9439 for more information. Calls cost up to 13p per minute from a landline, 3p-55p per minute from a mobile.  Lines are open 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

For energy supply and other heating issues, you can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0345 404 0506. Calls cost up to 9p a minute from a landline, 3-40p per minute from a mobile. For energy saving advice, you can call 0300 123 1234 in England and Wales or, if you live in Scotland, Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282.

Your lung condition may change, so you should review your situation regularly to ensure that you are claiming all that you are entitled to. 

If you need more information about how any of the benefits work you can call our helpline on 03000 030 555. Ringing our helpline never costs more than a local call and is sometimes free, depending on your call package, even from a mobile. Lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Download our welfare benefits information (PDF, 270KB)

Last medically reviewed: December 2017. Due for review: December 2018

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.