Winter Fuel Payments

If you are eligible for UK Winter fuel payment and you live in France, this is the form you need to complete.

To find out if your are eligible go here.

The EU ruling iself says each individual SHOULD but look closely at the site Doreen is posting and you will see they are (still) not receiving an allowance. there is an anomaly in that a couple who live toegther and may have done for 40 years or so, can claim as individuals without the slightest problem. The European Court saw this as creating an uneven playing field and thus the notion that it should be individual claims. I suspect the UK has appealed, therefore it will be several years before there is clarity and may not matter if people abroad cease to receive the allowance. So back to what I said about the couple I know with both sets of parents and £800 instead of (a possible/theoretical) £1600. But yes André, at 81 £300 and for your wife £100 as it stands. As Doreen says, the couple who told you otherwise may have been pork pie-ing.

No, I'm afraid you are wrong. I got my 200 whilst living on my on in the Aude and P.O. I then moved to Brittany to co-habit with my new partner (absolutely no legal ties between us whatsoever) and, lo and behold, this autumn we both got 100!.

Exactly Andy.

Brian & André - my reading of it (and as a first-time applicant this year following the EU ruling) is that the claim is 'per household (even if you are both fully-paid up NI contributors) BUT that if there is another non-family member living in the house (eg paying rent) then they can claim in their own right.

Can't comment on the extra bit for being over 80 (some way to go yet!). But it looks as if , should there be two unmarried (sorry - non-PC - non civil partenership) people in the same house, then they get 2 x 200, but a married couple, even if both of qualifying age, get only the single payment.

The usual SNAFU (ex-military will recognize the acronymn!) - but probably all theoretical as by this time next year they will have decided that no-one will get it unless they are below a certain income. Well, what you haven't had (at least until this year) you won't miss - or at least won't be counting upon. As for us, it has paid for our wood - but doesn't even touch the first or second refills of the oil tank, at 2000€ a time. But there again - it is a contribution towards, not entire payment for!

No, it is a payment by household but for getting the words to fit the bill they say that it is from £100 each up to a higher payment of £300 after age 80. They express it as £200 per claimant until you go through how it is made up then you see that, for instance, if you have a claimant over 80 getting £300 then the other person in the house gets only £100. There is confusion, I gather from a friend in the UK, who has both sets of parents alive, all over 80 and living in his house with his wife of course, both of them also eligible. They should theoretically get about £1600 on the face of what the government says on the website for the payment but actually receive only £800 despite making applications as though each individual formed a distinct household. Bottom line, I suspect there is no absolute clarity and that the EU ruling has been paid lip service but has as yet to be upheld, except that there are now proposals that pensioners living abroad should be disqualified completely which you will see from John Alcock's discussion post 'winter fuel payment'.

Absolutely - my pension is tiny and I need to work to supplement it, so would love to be able to apply for pension credits. I just worry about what will happen when I can no longer work.

Here, here Doreen!

No Celia, UK meant. I also have German pension entitlement from my years there, which I could have started to draw four years ago. So, as little as that is, it buffers me a bit against how low my UK pension will be, minimal in fact, I am better off than others I imagine. However, I have no French entitlements at all. As for advice, not me, I simply do not know.

Brian - I'm a bit confused: do you mean you're eligible for UK pension payments as well as French? We've paid well into both systems and so far have not claimed our age right, but the way things are going it's time we did. But I'm not sure how to go about it, especially here in France - any advice, anyone?

Yes Val, I've read it too and smell perfidious moves from the coalition. The way Osborne is slashing whatever, it would be easy to say that because people outside of the UK cannot be means tested then they should not be eligible or something along those lines. I was in the UK and I think Blair was still Führer when the idea of stopping pensions for people abroad was raised but quickly buried again. Is a revival imminent? I would be dismayed but not surprised. I become entitled this year, it would be just my rotten luck!

PS, Do you think they purposely used a photograph of somebody who looks vaguely like the queen tongue in cheek?

Some of your might be interested in an article which just popped up in the Guardian where a senior Lib Dem is proposing that pensioners should be means tested and many should lose the benefit to help fund care.

As with all these things, the rule is - if you don't ask, you don't get! (Particularly true of French entitlements!). As far as the Winter Fuel payments were concerned, there was a real anomaly - a frind of mine recieved his first one in the UK 10 days before he left to come to France, and has been entitled to receive it (and has!) ever since. Whereas until this year, even if you were entitled, if you were in France you didn't get it -even if you left one day before it was due!

Let's face it, most of us have paid our NI contributions, etc all our lives, and (usually) not paid the equilament here. So we don't get the French equivalents - why should we not claim, and get, the UK ones? (At least for now!).

Doreen, I fought it and had to appear in court. That was about 5 years ago. They didn't want to hear any of the huge file I'd researched and taken with me, just said that a precedent had already been set by another case and dismissed me without further ado. Somehow I doubt that they'd agree that they might have made a mistake!

Brian, you're too kind. My sister is 4 years older and looks even younger!

Doreen, Celia, no entitlement here. That is CAF business and there is an allowance. We have a special needs daughter and have looked very closely, the system here is reasonably generous but nothing comes to the parents so remains to all intents and purposes invisible. However, we have SESSAD (Service d'Education Spécialisée et de soins à Domicile), speech therapy and so on covered for which the Carte Vitale is demanded occasionally but we pay nothing.

Celia, because the over 60s do not get the French allowance, and French or any other EU citizens do not get their equivalents. It is an anomaly that it works that way. I would not worry, unless that is an old picture of you the allowance is almost certain not to exist by the time you would be due anyway. It has already been listed by the present government for the axe.

I don't understand - if we don't live in UK, why should we get this allowance? A few years back I was receiving child benefit for my 17 year old who was at a special needs boarding school in Romsey. We supported her of course, and she came out for every school break and the occasional weekend just as she did when we were still in UK. As soon as her 18th birthday arrived I duly notified the authorities and was horrified that I was expected to repay all the contributions made to me since our departure from UK! So I ask again - why are we eligible for this benefit? Assuming we spent the required week in UK...

Am I surprised - no way at all.

I sent my birth certificate registered on a Monday, it came back unregistered the Thursday of the next week (risky in my opinion, especially given the price and hassle getting a replacement), the letter said I would receive a payment and letter to inform me of that payment by the end of November. I have had money paid in two weeks ago but no letter, unless it arrives tomorrow...


Had my birth certificate returned but no other notification.

I asked for the payment to be made to my French account, but nothing has appeared in it just yet.