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How can I claim my Winter Fuel Allowance ?

- Updated: 26/10/2014
How can I claim my Winter Fuel Allowance ?

For some people living in Spain, finances can be tight and the long cold Spanish winter can prove to be finacially draining, however you might be able to claim the UK Winter Fuel Allowance even though you live in Spain.

The Winter Fuel Allowances are currently worth around 125 to 400 Pounds Sterling per year, depending upon your personal circumstances, and paid by the UK Government to qualifying people over the age of 60 in order to help them with the extra cost of heating their homes.

Although the new UK Government has undertaken to 'review' who is likely to be eligible to receive these payments in the near future, claims from qualifying pensioners living in Spain are still being considered and still being paid out.

Christmas Gift Lists

Why is the new UK Government thinking about stopping it ?

The Winter Fuel Allowance was introduced by the Labour government in the 1990's and intended to offer assistance to pensioners who could not afford to heat their houses after a series of particularly harsh winters in the UK.

However, due to the current economic crisis the government has been 'reviewing expenditure' and realised that in excess of 14 Million pounds sterling is spent on Winter Fuel Payments to expats alone, and are now questioning the validity of making such payments under these circumstances.

So why have the payments been honoured to date ?

As UK citizens we are entitled to live work and receive benefits in other countries within the EU. This means that, under EU law, benefits which have been acquired in one member state are equally entitled to receive them if they move to another member state within the EEA, with just a few exceptions to the rule.

How to qualify and apply for this allowance

You should automatically get the Winter Fuel Payment without applying if you have reached the qualifying age by 26 September 2010*, and are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK during the specified qualifying week. (For example, in 2009 the qualifying week was the 20-26 September).

The main Winter Fuel Payment qualifying conditions under UK legislation are that people must be aged 60 or over and ordinarily resident in Great Britain during a specified qualifying week. There is no need to be in receipt of a social security benefit in order to qualify.

The decision to continue making payments to people who had first qualified in the UK and then moved to another EEA country was made in 2002. This was following discussions with the European Commission when we agreed that Winter Fuel Payments should be classified as an old age benefit and the payments were covered by the Article 10 of regulation (EEC) 1408/71, which is the export article. The view of the European Commission was that persons who become entitled to Winter Fuel Payments under British law retain that entitlement if thereafter they go to live in another part of the EEA. This regulation does not enable a person to become entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment after leaving the UK.

This provision is still relevant -although the press document 12369/09 states that the new Regulation 883/04 would enter into application on 01 March 2010, this did not happen as it could not be applied until its implementing regulation was complete (Article 91). The new date for its application was 01 May 2010 (a date that has been and gone!)

There has been talk of the regulation that a person cannot lose their right to a social security benefit merely by living in the territory of another Member State. However, the wording about export of benefit under the new Regulation is no different to that in the existing Regulation 1408/71. In fact page 3 of Doc 12369/09, reiterates the fact that the basic principles of the current Regulation 1408/71 are maintained, in particular the export of benefits already acquired under a Member State’s legislation. Therefore after the application of the New Regulation in May 2010, the rules about becoming entitled to Winter Fuel Payment in the UK before paying it abroad have not changed, as there is nothing in EC Regulation 883/04 which helps a person gain entitlement to this benefit from abroad.

* Over the next decade the qualifying age is set to gradually rise from 60 to 65 years old.

** Click > HERE < for the form to claim Winter Fuel Allowance for Winter 2014 / 2015 as a UK Citizen resident in Spain, alternatively, you can call the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline on 0845 915 15 15 for further assistance.

Recommended Reading

* UK Announces Changes to Winter Fuel Allowance Entitlement for Expats

* Winter Fuel Payments to UK Expats hit record highs

Comment on this Article

 
Arthur No, we can't do this as we are not a Government Agency - However, if you would like to click on the link >> HERE << you will be directed to the appropriate page where you can complete the correct form to claim as a UK Expat living in the EU.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 26th Oct 2014
my wife & i recieved payment on 8th.dec,2012.not knowing ,that we had to apply each year,we have not recieved anything since.would it be possible for you to send me 2 application forms,1 each for my wife and i please regards mr. a, james.
Arthur & Kathleen Mary James - Sun 26th Oct 2014
I've lived in Spain for 20 years and retired 6 years ago. I received winter fuel for past 2 years and trying to reclaim this allowance for the previous years since I retired. I've completed application forms sent from Pension Office, not received any reply, despite various letter and phone calls. Can anyone give advice. Thanks Ruth.
Mrs Ruth Maw - Tue 25th Mar 2014
I switched to dual rate around 4 years ago and its well worth it as the low rate from around midnight to midday is less than half cost compared to midday to midnight. My hot water tank is on a timer so it only uses low rate electricity and my wife does the washing, drying and dish washer in the morning and the pool pump timed to come on 01.00 AM and 11.00 AM. These are all the high power appliances plus I have LED lights in all rooms and I changed the 300 Watt halogen pool light for a 40 Watt colored LED bulb. Just last week Iberdrola came around and offered me a frozen rate for 2 years if I signed up for readings once every 2 months. Just hope its a good deal.
Mike - Mon 1st Jul 2013
Just finished reading comments.. how many of you have been to Ibradola Office and had a duel electric meter fitted, normal in the day as from 10pm at night much lower rate, changes back to higher rate midday in summer 1pm winter. I have never been able to afford to go back to UK, since I moved here, thats over 12 years now, not everybody is able to travel as some persons on here seem to think. Hope electric meters help some of you.
Una Faye Marie - Sun 30th Jun 2013
Barthlomew : Assuming your Pension is paid by the UK, you should be able to claim for the years 1997 and 1998, but not before these years. It would be worthwhile putting a call in to the Helpline (Shown Above) for confirmation of this.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 5th Apr 2013
Bartholomew, I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to claim here. If you were not in receipt of WFA prior to returning to Ireland in 1998 I think you'll have big problems trying to convince the DWP for payments to date retrospectively. They will likely argue that you might not have substantive links with the UK seeing as you left 15 years ago let alone all the qualifying period caveats. The biggest problem with the rules are their interpretation which is not hard and fast but open to how the DWP wants to interpret them. I would suggest that you have a moral right to WFA considering 43 years working and paying NI in the UK and as a result of the ECJ retrospective ruling you should get retrospective payments from the time you turned 60 assuming that period covered the time WFA was introduced. That said, its worth a try to claim but don't hold out too much hope and certainly don't expect any acknowledgement for at least 1 month from sending the DWP any correspondence.
Mike - Fri 5th Apr 2013
I came back from London after 46 years working in England. I left Ireland in 1943 returned in 1998 can I get fuel allowance for past years ?
Bartholomew Stapleton - Fri 5th Apr 2013
Just a quick update on my attempts to get back payments for WFA from the DWP via their appeal process. The DWP is trying to use UK 'prescribed limit rules' created in 2000 that applied to people resident in Britain who had forgotten to claim from a previous year and requires a claim to be made by end March for the previous winter. This claim form was only ever meant for UK residents as by default an ex-pat was already denied any payment for WFA if they had left the UK without being in receipt of the WFA. The ECJ retrospective ruling that the DWP grudgingly now seems to accept, is using a new created form (WFP2EEA) that has been crafted especially for ex-pats who might claim back payments by setting impossible 'prescribed limit rules' that could never be made in practice. This form was actually created 18 months after the ECJ ruling and Ex post facto rules/laws (after the event) are normally not allowed. This is basically my appeal should anyone else want to look into it.
Mike - Sat 23rd Mar 2013
I vehemently dislike the word 'benefits' as it conjures up receiving something for which you haven't paid for. The state pension was over funded by those in receipt of it and you had to pay into the fund, hence the use of the term National Insurance. By a quirk in definition, the WFA allowance also comes under this category. However, all other payments received from the state come from general taxation and should be called benefits. I believe all real benefits should be conditional on being resident in the UK. There's that perverse child allowance given to foreign kids living outside the country that could and should be stopped by the simple measure of ensuring the kids are resident. There's plenty of housing association property where housing allowance is being paid to those who rent it out but aren't even living there. We should also cap child allowance at 2 kids and have kids share a bedroom as happens in private accommodation. The system is far too generous and unaffordable !
Mike - Sat 23rd Mar 2013
Jim : Let me guess... and instead the benefits should be paid to immigrants moving to the UK, having never paid a penny in contributions in their lives ?
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 23rd Mar 2013
People living elsewhere should not receive benefits.
Jim - Sat 23rd Mar 2013
Just sharing the page on Face Book for ex-pats living in Europe... http://www.facebook.com/WinterFuelAllowanceForExPatsLivingInEurope
Francesca Sweeney-androulaki - Fri 1st Mar 2013
Una-faye-Marie. If you know who they are as you say.....why not let the Authorities know..... Anonymously! no need to get involved yourself....the more of these scroungers get caught......the safer my Winter Fuel Payment (Worked For) will be.
Pessimistic. - Thu 6th Dec 2012
Mike i agree with you, over the last 2 years 5 English people in my road have been caught for defrauding UK on disability the Spanish Detective was parked opposite my house taking photos etc, none of them twigged, they kept going back to UK and signing on, i know of others but i say nothing, they WILL get caught, only make them turn up at offices in UK once a fortnight............
Una-faye Marie - Wed 5th Dec 2012
Thanks for seeing it this way as I'm just as p***** off at benefit fraudsters who are claiming all manner of UK benefits whilst living down here but then claim they live in the UK. I certainly agree with you that Income Support & Unemployment Benefit shouldn't be paid to ex-pats. Similarly I believe disability/mobility benefit should require residence in the UK and all of these benefits should require you to turn up at the benefits office to prove you're in the UK at least once a month. That more than anything would cut back fraud rather than employing an army of DWP staff to track them down or getting snitches to tell on them.
Mike - Wed 5th Dec 2012
Fair Point guys ! - and thanks for explaining so patiently. I suppose on that basis WFA can be viewed as a totally different issue to those expats who continually ask about receiving other benefits (such as Income Support and Unemployment Benefit) from the UK.
Simon P - Tue 4th Dec 2012
Simon P - I believe pensioners who move to Spain are aware that most UK benefits won't be available to them other than a state pension. This is called a 'portable' benefits in EU speak and covers also the WFA from 2002. The recent changes in June on WFA rules just closed the unfair anomaly that Brits who had substantive links to the UK but moved before being in receipt of the WFA should now receive them. My state pension is based on my contributions and as I paid 42 years of UK tax and NI (at a higher rate), that gives me a substantive link to the UK. Following on from this, as the ECJ ruling was retrospective, that should in practice mean I can claw back lost WFA from the time I turned 60. I'm not wingeing on about this but actively engaging with the DWP to 'obey' the court ruling and cough up. Predictably EU legislation for UK ex-pats living in Europe has 3 pages of opt outs whilst the combined opt outs for all other states are less than 2 pages. I think that says something !
Mike - Tue 4th Dec 2012
Mr Simon P - I agree that a lot of people seem to think that they can claim Benefits which they have to give up when moving out here, I only asked for what is my right that I have paid in 52 years for, WFA, no more, you might be rich there are those of us that need a little help, compassion is the word that comes to mind.
Una-faye Marie. - Tue 4th Dec 2012
I am sick and tired of hearing so many expats whingeing on about how they cannot claim this benefit or that benefit after having turned their back on the UK god-knows how many years ago. They can not have their cake and eat it and should go home if they don't like it !
Simon P - Tue 4th Dec 2012
I should add that the rules for WFA have now changed this year 2012, in that ex-pats who were not in receipt of the WFA prior to leaving the UK can now claim for the WFA and will in general receive it. The issue over possible back payments is still outstanding whilst the DWP drags its feet refusing to pay up or justify why they wont pay up.
Mike - Mon 3rd Dec 2012
David : I'm guessing you have us confused with the UK Benefits Agency or the DWP ?? You certainly didn't call us as we don't publicise our number or act as an agent on behalf of the general public. You might like to try calling the Winter Fuel Allowance Helpline in the UK on 0845 915 15 15 to see if they will progress your claim for you.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 3rd Dec 2012
I phoned you six weeks ago and you promised to send claim forms for myself and my wife. She is 75 and I am 79. We are not wealthy. Please forward to ** Address Deleted **, Spain It is cold here now !
David Shaw - Mon 3rd Dec 2012
There is a popular misconception in the UK that those ex-pats living in warmer climates do so for 12 months of the year. However, here in Greece, temperatures during the winter months often drop to freezing but the killer factor is the amount of rain which has a significant effect on "feeling the cold" through dampness. Last winter, here on Zakynthos, we had over 36" rain between October and May, equal to the UK's annual rainfall. Both my wife and myself still pay UK taxes on our pensions but receive none of the benefits of UK residents eg. bus passes, free tv licenses and access to the NHS. The WFA would be a great help to us as the cost of wood for our log burner (cheaper than central heating) is rising year-on-year.
David Van De Gevel - Wed 26th Sep 2012
I am pleased to imform you that i telephoned England, and am now awaiting my forms to get winter fuel allowance, as long as my pension comes from England, i am eligible, i hope this helps other people, but there will be no back payments at this point, Thank You Tumbit for your help.
Una-faye Marie - Thu 6th Sep 2012
I RETIRED FROM THE METROPOLITAN POLICE IN 1978 AND MOVED TO SPAIN IN 1985. I AM STILL PAYING INCOME TAX ON MY POLICE PENSION. THE WINTER FUEL ALLOWANCE DID NOT EXIST WHEN MY WIFE AND I CAME TO SPAIN AND WE HAVE NOT BEEN ENTITLED TO THIS. I FEEL THAT THIS IS GROSSLY UNFAIR AS SEMI PERMANENT RESIDENTS IN SPAIN CONTINUE TO RECEIVE BENEFIT.
Leslie Guy Church - Thu 6th Sep 2012
Una : The recent News Article >> HERE << might interest you !
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 1st Sep 2012
Thank you for your reply, i might have misworded my message, i moved to Spain just before i was 60 years old, i paid tax into UK for 52years meaning while i lived here i continued to pay tax, my friend heard on the English radio program, that the UK Goverment realised that we pensioners are suffering overhere, so if you could look into this for me i would appreciate it
Una-faye Marie - Fri 31st Aug 2012
Una : unfortunately I can't see that you have grounds with which to make a claim for WFA from the UK.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 31st Aug 2012
I am trying to get winter fuel allowance, to help me, I worked from 15yrs old in UK, moved to Spain before I was 60, continued to pay tax in UK, I knew nothing about WFP, I am a widow, have been for 22years, no savings, when I rang about the payment i was told no i live in Spain, it gets very cold here, we have snow, unable to afford high electric bills, i use only a butane gas heater, i,m now 68years old, i feel i should not have to go to bed to keep warm in the daytime, in the summer when its hot i can't afford to use aircon to keep cool, i don't own a house in UK as lots of other people out here do, i'm trapped, between a deepfreeze or furnace !
Una-faye Marie - Fri 31st Aug 2012
With the greatest respect for Jo Greens Ex Boss , why doesn't he give the payments he neither wants or needs to a charity or worthy cause of his own choice...at least he will know where his money has gone... As for the comments from Dave Moore I couldn't agree more. As for Mr Knowles....he still hasn't told us where he lives and what his age is!!
Pessimistic - Tue 28th Aug 2012
It never ceases to amaze me why so many whingers in UK the consider Expats who clain the Winter Fuel Allowance as nothing more than Benefit Cheats. All they are doing is takinbg advantage that they are LEGALLY ENTITLED to under UK and EU law. Try pointing the finger at Expats who illegally claim other benefts whilst abroad, such as Job seekers allowance etc...
Robster - Tue 28th Aug 2012
My Ex- Boss did just what Mr Knowles is suggesting : He was a very well off old guy who still had property in the UK and as such was automatically sent WFA by default even though he very rarely set foot in the UK. He tried to tell the Benefts Payment Office that he neither wanted or needed the payment, and to pay the money to those who needed it more, but was told - in writing - that the Gov't did not have the ability to do this and as such he would continue to recieve the benefit payment whether he wanted it or not !
Jo Green - Tue 28th Aug 2012
Mr Knowles, you say you don't want any of your contributions to support expats WFA. I suppose you don't mind paying for stupid wars that are nothing to do with us, or paying illegal immigrants huge payouts because their human Rights have been abused, or immigrants that have not contributed a penny, getting free housing, free health care and free everything else they can scrounge ?? and don't get me started on fiddling MPs expenses. I contributed for 41 hard years of graft, and you want to deny me and others, a lousy £200 ? Just let me remind you, we're all in this together, Europe I mean, that's why GB is overrun with foreign claimers, so if you wanna have a pop, I suggest you aim your ignorant comments in another direction. Bye the way, I don't get WFA, because a stupid rule says because I left GB before I was 60, i'm not entitled, but is that about to change ?
Dave Moore - Tue 28th Aug 2012
If Mr Knowles would like to tell us where he is living at the moment and his age......then we may be able to reply to his comments.
Pessimistic - Tue 28th Aug 2012
Edward ; Although a fair way from being eligible to claim this benefit I have 2 issues with your ideas :

1) Surely if you have contributed into a system you retain the right to claim something back - especially when we are all now members of a wider Europe ?

2) When the UK is welcoming 1000's of immigrants into the country and paying them benefits when they have contributed littkle or nothing into the system, why can those choosing to leave the country for another destination within the EU not expect the same priviledge in return ?

Mr Grumpy - Mon 27th Aug 2012
I do not want any of my contributions to support xpats fuel allowance. They all found a better place to live when they left. To me it means when you leave you leave the benifits, please advise on how I can withdraw my contributions supporting this expence !! Eddy Knowles
Edward Knowles - Mon 27th Aug 2012
Janis : Based on the information you have given, and assuming that were resident in the UK on the appropriate qualifying weeks, you should have been paid the WFA automatically as a person in receipt of other benefit payment. However, I am uncertain if you will be able to backdate this claim. Still worth a call though...
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 23rd Aug 2012
Janis.....Ring 08459 151515. Its the Winter Fuel Helpline in the UK.
Pessimistic - Thu 23rd Aug 2012
I was 60 on the 6th Feb 2008 and recieved my pension. I was living full time in the UK and was informed that I would automatically receive my winter fuel allowance and did not have to make an application. My partner bought a holiday home in Brittany in May 2008 and we stayed there through the summer and returned at the end of August and stayed in the UK until after Christmas. We spent our time going backwards and forwards spending a few months in each country until we decided to live permanently in France in 2011 when I applied for my Carte Vitale (French Health Card) which I received on the 22/03/2011. Looking at the information given I should have been receiving Winter Fuel Allowance, but have never been paid any at all. Could you please advise how I can apply for this. (Brittany is extremely cold in the Winter!!) Thanks for your attention.
Janis O'loughlin - Thu 23rd Aug 2012
I moved to Spain in 2002 lost my husband in 2006. He was payed the fuel payment, but because we moved over before I was then sixty and 2 months I lost the benefit when he died. I was born 27 11 1942
Patricia Ann Farrow - Wed 15th Aug 2012
Joyce : If you call the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline on 0845 915 15 15 and explain your personal circumstances to them they will be able to advise you A) If you are entitled to claim anything, and B) How to go about making such a claim.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 31st Jul 2012
I was born 17.06.42 and have been resident in Spain since 1985. If with this new EU ruling I am now entitled to claim the Winter Fuel Payment who do I contact?
Joyce Campbell - Tue 31st Jul 2012
Barbara :

How long have you lived in Spain?

Do you still have an address in the UK?

What Benefits are you or your husband paid from the UK?

Were you resident in the UK for the 'qualifying week'?

- This will all have a bearing on your being eligible to claim anything.

Tumbit - Admin - Thu 15th Dec 2011
Hi My name is Barbara and my Birthdate is 23rd April 1951 and I think I am entitled to the winter fuel but I dont know how to get it can you help please. Oh I live and work in the uk and have a husband that cont work through illness. Regards Barbara
Barbara Holmes - Thu 15th Dec 2011
With regards to fuel bills in Spain and the way Iberdrola increase prices at will, I was tempted by an advertisement from a company called Iberswitch to sign up with them and they (for a small fee of 30% on what you would save in the future) would find the cheapest supplier for you at that time. I signed up in February...a "one off" fee of around €35 was payable for Administration charges and I was told it could take 6 to 8 weeks for the change to the new cheaper supplier to take effect. After numerous telephone calls and E.mails to and from Iberswitch the new contract was finally completed on SEPTEMBER 13th....... nearly 8 Months after and not the 6 to 8 weeks mentioned at sign up. Since then I have received a bill from the new supplier payable from 13th September to 28th November......BUT its an estimated bill...so I still don´t know if I have saved any money yet and wont know until the next bill which is not now due until January 2012 Anyone else using Iberswitch found this ?
Michael Graham - Mon 12th Dec 2011
The system is a joke ! - I am in the very fortunate position to have been left very well off when I sold my business in the UK to move to Spain. I wrote to the DSS and asked for 'my entitlement' to be added back into the system to benefit those who may appreciate it more. The response ? - A letter back saying how they 'did not have the resources to comply with this request'. Isn't that just a voluntary version of means testing ?
Peter Collins - Fri 9th Dec 2011
The ECJ ruling in the case of Lucy Stewart (C-503/09) article 10 regulation No. 1408/71 on the 21 July 2011 could make it possible to claim WFP while living abroad.
Martin Gardner - Sat 15th Oct 2011
Hazel, some UK benefits are exportable to Spain - others are not. In the first instance I would suggest that you read the guide by clicking HERE and then made contact with the UK's Benefits Exportability Team on exportabilityteam@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 22th May 2011
Help! My husband has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness. We have been living in Spain for 7 years, and I am in receipt of DLA ( lowest rate) plus my pension and a small NHS pension. He is younger than me (58... I am 65,) and has not worked since we came here, as I need help with cooking and attention when out as I fall often. We have been managing so far, but I think we will need some help in the future for both our care. Now that he is ill, I wonder wether he would be entitled to any benefits... he has paid 30 years worth of stamps in the UK. We didn't register with Spanish social services, as we were independant and coping well on my pensions. Please advise who I need to contact, if you think we may be entitled to a little more help from the UK. Many thanks Hazel Blades , Estepa, Andalucia.
Hazel Blades - Sun 22th May 2011
Its amazing just how much "essential" services have increased in Spain over the last 2 years or so....gas,electricity ,water and of course petrol are nearly double.......but as we know the country is in a worse state than the UK financially......to answer Yvonne (I have a feeling she knows this already) the USA does not have reciprocal agreement with the UK so no she would not get WFA ..a question for Mr Grumpy......have you heard of a company called IBERSWITCH who have recently opened offices in Alicante and Murcia regions ?......they seem to be able to offer electricity from a cheaper supplier than Exorbitant Iberdrola .....its worth a look at their website to see what's on offer......there is no bigger sceptic than me when it comes to these type of companies but I was pretty convinced when given the explanation as to how they can do it.......saving money ....wont know for at least 3 months ......as I said ..no harm in having a look..No I dont work for them ..Michael Graham. .
Michael Graham - Mon 28th Feb 2011
Yvonne, I DO have double glazing already, installing roof insulation and cavity wall insulation on a 200 year old Finca would be a nigh on impossible task. My Electricity bill for Dec / Jan was 440 Euros, gas was 60 Euros for the same period (My finca is only 100mts so those with larger houses are much worse off) At the start of the year Electricity increased by 9.8%, whereas I believe gas Increased by 5%. I'm far too young to even make the claim in the UK, but I am eternally frustrated at the UK Benefits system as a whole that discrimates so much about who can and can not make certain claims.
Mr Grumpy - Mon 28th Feb 2011
So if I were to emigrate to USA? would I beable to claim for WFA,it gets very Cold there?
Yvonne - Mon 28th Feb 2011
It never ceases to amaze me that so many people sat in their Centrally Heated homes in the UK, with loft lagging and cavity wall insulation, and three bars on full blast on their (twice as cheap) Electric fire, actually belive that it is suuny in Spain all year round and that we don't need any form of heating here in Winter. We do - and it ain't cheap either.
Mr Grumpy - Mon 28th Feb 2011
Spot on,Michael Graham. Its also infuriating to see immigrants claiming thosands of pounds and never contributed a penny. The law should be altered so that nobody can claim benefits unless they have 5 yrs contributions. Just watch them scatter, but I suppose that would be against their human rights ! I also have a human right to my WFA, has anybody got the number of a Legal Aid solicitor ? or should I ask an immigrant.
Dave Moore - Mon 28th Feb 2011
If there was ever a time to use the old saying regarding the horse and closing the stable door it has to be now. I understand that debts have to be paid but dont penalise the people who are not responsible for them...put a lot more of time and effort in catching and convicting the benefit fraudsters and the amount of money "saved" will more than cover the expense...then people like Dave Moore and myself and lots more like us who have paid and paid again during our "benefit free" working life wont be begrudged a few pounds in their twilight years......just to change the subject slightly why on earth did they change the number of years one had to pay National Insurance from 44 for Men and 39 for Women to a mere 30 years for Everyone,?....I am not a mathematician but even I can calculate the difference in revenue lost......and before someone asks me to "change the record" take a good look at the facts......Winter Fuel Payments and a 10 pounds Xmas Box amount to v little !
Michael Graham - Mon 28th Feb 2011
I left the UK before I was 60, therefore I am not entitled to WFA. Why ? I worked 41 yrs, paid all my dues, never claimed any benefits and yes, it does get cold in Spain in the winter. I thought we were all together in the EEC. I am being discriminated against just because I moved to Spain, and believe me , Spain is in Europe.
Dave Moore - Sun 27th Feb 2011
Regardless of whether it is 'right or wrong' for expats to claim the payment, it is available nontheless. If people are eligible for the payment then the should claim it. An old guy in my village in Spain contacted the DSS to ask how he could return his Winter Fuel Benefit and the Agency said that they were unable to accept returned funds as there was no structure in place to do this !
Mr Grumpy - Thu 25th Nov 2010
When will people realise that ALL of Spain does not have sunshine and hot weather ALL the year round. We have seasons as do the UK including "Winter". As an example last year (2010) was one of the coldest winters in Spain for years with plenty of snow and ice especially in Madrid and surrounding areas. Where we live in the south east of Spain it got down to as low as 3degrees at night and no hotter than 9 degrees during the day. Apart from that ,why shouldn't a UK citizen of my age (72) who worked and contributed to the "system" for over 50 years get the Winter Fuel Payment??.....its the people who are "taking "the benefits who have NOT PAID A PENNY into the system you should be moaning about. I rest my case.....Michael Graham,
Michael Graham - Sat 20th Nov 2010
I live in a so called warmer climate (Spain). In winter I DO need extra heat to keep warm, and in summer I need air conditioning to keep cool! Both can be equaly expensive.... we just get less rain and more sunshine than the UK. I am very grateful for the Winter Fuel payment.
Catherine Deacon - Fri 8th Oct 2010
I do not think that the Winter Fuel Payments should be sent to ex Pats who have gone to live in Warmer Climates,it should only go to People living in the UK where the Weather is very Cold during the Winter Months from November to March normally. How EX Pats have been given this money in past years is beyond me,they come Home at Christmas,some of them and stay with Family,are all well Suntanned and all look really well from being in the Sun,they certainly don't have a problem with Bad weather where they have Emigrated to.
Mrs Yvonne Reeves - Mon 4th Oct 2010