You may have heard of the Winter Fuel Allowance, but as a company, you may be wondering: can businesses benefit from the winter fuel payment 2019/2020?
First of all…
What is the Winter Fuel Payment?
Also known as the Winter Fuel Allowance, the Winter Fuel Payment is an annual tax-free annual payment that helps older people meet the cost of their winter fuel bills, which tend to be higher than bills in summer since people are using more energy to heat their homes.
Why the Winter Fuel Allowance?
The Winter Fuel Payment is designed to help vulnerable people (like pensioners) with extra money towards their winter heating bills. The intent is to help these people stay warm during winter months by easing their fuel costs.
Can the Winter Fuel Allowance only be spent on fuel?
The money from the Winter Fuel Payment goes directly into the recipient’s bank account, so there’s nothing to stop them from spending it on anything. Some people choose to buy food, warm clothing and other items that help them get through the cold weather.
How much is the Winter Fuel Payment?
The amount of money you get depends on your age and your circumstances during the qualifying week.
The “standard” rates are:
- £200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80.
- £300 for households with a person aged 80 or over.
Payments are tax-free and don’t have any impact on any other benefits you might be claiming.
Can my business benefit from the winter fuel allowance 2019/2020?
The short answer is ‘no’. The eligibility criteria for Winter Fuel Payments are as follows:
- You must have lived in the UK for at least one day during the qualifying week (usually towards the end of September every year; however, these dates change every year).
You won’t qualify for Winter Fuel Payment if you:
- Are too young to get a state pension
- Were in prison during the whole of the qualifying week
- Are getting free treatment for more than a year in hospital
- Are living in a care home
- Need permission to enter the UK and you don’t qualify for help from the Department for Work and Pensions.
So, although businesses aren’t eligible for the winter fuel allowance, there are many other ways to save on energy costs.
When are Winter Fuel Payments made?
Most Winter Fuel Allowance payments are made between November and December. The payments are generally made automatically if the individual gets a State Pension or certain other benefits.
What is the Cold Weather Payments scheme?
The Cold Weather Payments scheme is entirely separate from the Winter Fuel Allowance. Under the Cold Weather Payments scheme, certain recipients receive automatic payments of £25 a week during snaps of very cold weather (zero degrees Celsius or below) between November and March.