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New ruling on Winter fuel allowance

Boiling a frog

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[quote user="NormanH"]As I posted above those who moved to France before becoming eligible for WFA will still not be eligible.

That is the point of the 1998 date, as since the WFA dates from then those who were here before could not be eligible before moving over.

This is made very clear in Part 3 of the claim form.


Rubbish Only those who moved before 1998 are not eligible
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You may only be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment if you've already

qualified for it before you moved to an EEA country or Switzerland.

From  the website


I don't appreciate your dismissive comment 'RUBBISH'

I may be mistaken, but I dont believe that my information (as opposed to my opinions) should be dismissed in such a cavalier fashion.

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I have confirmed that people who previously were denied WHA payments because they were not in receipt of them before leaving the UK are now entitled, With a cut off date of 1998 . . If one left the UK prior to that date one is not entitled to WHA.

If people do not care to believe then so be it, I will receive my £100 as will my wife, back dated as well .
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The website is thoroughly confusing.

I get the impression that some pages have been updated while others indicate old information.



You may get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2012/13 if both the following apply:

  • you have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5 July 1951) 
  • you normally live in Great Britain or Northern Ireland on any day in the week of 17-23 September 2012

In some circumstances you can get Winter Fuel Payment if you live in another EEA country or Switzerland.


If you live in an EEA country or Switzerland and do not get the Winter Fuel Payment then you need to make a claim. A claim form will be available from August from the International Pension Centre or you can download it from the following link.

The form however clearly states the WFA is only available if you "normally lived in the UK" during the qualifying week.

Interesting also to note for the "why do we pay this to those who lie all winter in the sun" brigade, is that :

Gibraltar is part of the UK for some EU purposes. Therefore a customer can continue

to receive their Winter Fuel Payment in Gibraltar if they previously acquired

entitlement in the UK but they cannot initially establish entitlement to a payment in

Gibraltar as the person would have needed to be ordinarily resident in the UK. For

Winter Fuel Payment purposes, Gibraltar is treated as a member of the EEA.




and then



Winter Fuel Payments abroad

If you live in or move to another EEA country or Switzerland you may be able to get the Winter Fuel Payment. See following link for more information.

and the link then says


Winter Fuel Payment abroad

If you live abroad, you may be able to receive Winter Fuel Payments if the following apply:

  • you have reached women’s State Pension age  
  • you live in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or  Switzerland
  • you have a genuine and sufficient link with the UK, for example, you have lived or worked in the UK for most of your working life





So basically pick the bones out of that little contradictory mess.

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[quote user="Russethouse"]Have you actually looked at the link? Believe me I'm not making it up - you may get your £200 per household but

please don't lead others to believe its automatic because at this stage the web site is not that clear.[/quote]

Who said anything about it being automatic. One has to put in a claim using the form ,which I gave a link too.

I cannot think of a single instance on Government websites where it says that "one is entitled", ,it always says "one may be entitled".

It is obvious to me that the website update has been a hurry up job but, as I have already said, if one telephones the Pensions service then one gets the true facts straight from the horses mouth.

Putting it simply, if you live in the EU(including the UK) or Switzerland and are over the qualifying age and would be entitled to the payment if you lived in the UK then you are entitled.

There is one sure and certain thing. If you live outside of the UK but live in the EU or Switzerland and do not receive WFA at the moment you will still not receive it unless you put in a claim.

I do not understand the reluctance to accept these facts or do people revel in being pedants or Victor Meldrews.
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[quote user="Boiling a frog"]Who said anything about it being automatic. [/quote]


Actually at one point the website says that you will receive it automatically if you receive the OAP - but then goes on several screens lower down to say you must apply if outside the UK.


With this sort of B*@@ers muddle it is no wonder that folk get confused.


I am sure you have done the only sensible thing and gone to the horse (a s s maybe) and got it straight from the mouth.

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The form you linked   to (and so the one you have to fill in to claim)says

If you

were aged 60 or over during a qualifying week and


lived in the UK
(see note 3 at Part 6 at the end of this

form), you may

be able to get a Winter Fuel Payment. If you then

to another

EEA country (see note 2 at Part 6 at the end

of this form), you may be

able to continue receiving


Your entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment depends on

what your

circumstances were in the qualifying week. This

qualifying week is

defined in Part 3.

Part 3

Note –

you must have acquired entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment


the UK in order to qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment within


EEA country.

I do not see the contradiction, with my


those who moved to France before

becoming eligible for WFA will still not be eligible.

That is the

point of the 1998 date, as since the WFA dates from then those who

were here before could not be eligible before moving over.

Why the need for the insults?

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The web site is far from clear and I suspect that the only way to find out if you personally are going to get it, is to claim.

By the way there have been several discussions on the radio and TV along the lines of WFA being available for UK residents only.

Look out for changes in eligibility in the next budget ....whether it be starting the allowance with the OAP or lessening the amount.
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The very helpful lady at the pensions service has acknowledged that both the website and the claim forms are ambiguous but it is a fluid situation with new/different directives being distributed all the time.

For NormanH

As I have repeated.

If one left the UK prior to 1998 and were not in receipt of WFP at that point in time then one cannot claim . If one left the UK after 1998 ,were not in receipt of WFP when one left but have since become eligible then one is entitled(straight from the horses mouth)
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Yes RH we have seen the "articles" in the tabloid papers about WFA and those of us abroad who bask in the sun all year round.

We have had the heating on in Normandy this morning, BTW.

Of course if they wrap the payment into the OAP then we will get it anyway.

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Yes I had noticed that bashing Brits abroad had become a national sport. That is when they are not bashing us for being baby-boomers (so selfish of our parents to want to have children at the end of the war....). It seems a bit sad that the media has nothing more important to focus on....
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If you were born on or before 5 July 1951 you may qualify. It’s not means tested and you can get it if you’re still working or claiming a benefit. In some circumstances you may be able to get it if you live in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

To clarify, this benefit does not commence with your pension but sometime before indeed many people are still working when they receive it ...

Emily if you lived in the UK and saw how many economies there are being made to services you would understand why the media comments the way it does.

Perhaps those pensioners who have savings can go to the European Court and have their care paid for too.
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RH I can understand cutting benefits to higher earners, but I cannot for the life of me see why living in the south of England would entitle me to WFA and living in the north of France wouldn't. These are not gifts, they are benefits payable to people who have worked and paid contributions.

I don't need to be in the UK to know how many services are being cut (and how the bankers are still being rewarded), I read the papers, watch TV, talk to my children and know how much my former colleagues are suffering. The fact is that that the tabloid press enjoys having a go at safe targets whilst failing to take on the people who really are taking rewards they don't deserve.

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Much is made of the cost of means testing benefits and the fact that those who need them often do not apply for them, and yet it occurs to me that if the UK government had a joined up system it would be very easy.

So for example anyone who receives an OAP but does not have enough income could automatically get WFP, Bus pass etc..  For those living abroad, they would need to fill in a UK tax form to make a claim - which I suspect many are asked to do from time to time anyway.


At least that way the basic entitlements could have a pass/fail means test.

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I understand the argument very well - I paid in so therefore I am entitled.....fair enough, but frankly my feeling is that there are a lot of other cases of inequality to be tackled before this one. I've already quoted the situation for those who have saved compared with those who haven't bothered, they lose the right to be able to do what they want with their own money and assets. In addition those who have to go into a care home because of Alzheimer's or dementia are often denied the benefits they would receive if they had other illnesses. ( unless they are lucky enough to have someone savvy enough to take up the cudgels... for them )

I don't really see what is wrong in asking those people who chose to live abroad to take the loss of certain benefits into the decision making equation, just like those who choose to live in Canada or Australia have to, whether they paid in or not.

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The arguement is not I have paid so I am entitled.

The UK Government were found by the European Court to have been acting illegally ie against the law, by refusing the Winter fuel Allowance to people who had left the UK prior to them being entitled to the benefit.

The UK Government are not acting illegally in making people pay ,via means testing, for care homes.

It may not be just and fair but it is not illegal so we are not comparing two similar situations.

I presume that you are not suggesting that the Govt should be allowed to act illegally.
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My feeling is that in the end it won't matter one iota whether it's legal or not...the treasury will have taken note that the general public are prepared to differentiate between those who should have it and those who should not and instead of taking the sensible option and phasing it in with pensions, it will end up being means tested, so even though we have all paid in, fewer and fewer people will actually get it.

Changes to WFA were widely forecast last time round, we'll just have to see if it survives in its current form.......

Whatever the European Court says , the idea given here by some that 'it's not fair that we don't get it just because we live in Europe, doesn't hold water when you look at all the other inequalities there are, even when you live in the Uk, pay tax and NI here and spend your income here too......
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How I get sick to my back teeth of the 'I've paid in' argument. Really, I do. I am so used to the solidarity argument, which I understand completely, that feels right to me.


I know that about three years ago, the french government were helping pensioners towards their winter fuel bills under certain conditions. BaF do you really think that they would have even entertained paying it to an empoverished french person living in the UK or anywhere other than France? And yet it is for the same good reason that it has been paid really. Are the french government paying allowances for people needing help with severe illness and handicap when they have left France? That I do not know, but I have a feeling that they may well not be...... I await to be shown differently with some official texts.


Is it really only the UK who has to keep on paying out and paying out when people leave? And people fighting for them to do so and calling it illegal to be not treat as residents, when they do not want to be residents.





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