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Winter Fuel Payments

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which constituencies are covered by each weather station used for the calculation of cold weather payments; (245140)

(2) how many (a) payments and (b) recipients there were of cold weather payments in each constituency in each of the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information pensioners are required to provide to his Department to receive winter fuel payments. (248738)

The vast majority, over 95 per cent., of winter fuel payments are made automatically, based on information already held in DWP records. In these cases there is no need for an individual to provide further information or to make a claim.

However there are a small group of people who may qualify for winter fuel payments but cannot be identified by DWP records. This is usually because they are not in receipt of a state pension or other benefit administered by the DWP. These people need to complete a claim form so that their eligibility can be assessed.

Information required by the winter fuel payment claim form includes: name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and bank/building society details so that we may make a payment direct into a person's bank account. People are also asked to declare, for example, whether there is anyone else aged 60 or over in their household and whether they are in hospital or a care home. The claim form is available from the Pension Service website.