Winter is coming and the first signs of the big chill are already being felt in the UK and across much of Europe.
The coldest temperature in the UK was recorded as -10.3C in Scotland this week, which is the lowest since last winter.
Much of the rest of the country has suffered temperatures below freezing overnight.
Snow is forecast for next week, hitting Scotland over the weekend and then moving south and probably disrupting voters heading for polling stations for General Election 2019, says the Met Office.
For expats drawing a state pension, the freezing temperatures are likely to trigger the Winter Fuel Payment.
Do you qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment?
Not everyone can claim the Winter Fuel Payment – but here are the boxes you must tick to qualify:
- You were born on or before April 5, 1954
- You lived in the UK for at least one day in the ‘qualifying week’ between the 16th and 22nd of September 2019
- You live in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland
- You have a ‘genuine and sufficient’ link to the UK, which can include having family in the UK or you have lived and worked in the country
Expats in some European countries cannot claim the payment because their average winter temperatures are too high.
These countries are Cyprus, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Gibraltar.
Expats in long term care, prison or hospital are unlikely to qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment.
When do you get the Winter Fuel Payment?
If you have a qualifying claim, you will get a letter detailing how much and when the payment will be made. Claims for winter 2019-2020 must be made by March 31, 2020.
How much is the Winter Fuel Payment?
What you get depends on your personal circumstances.
|Personal circumstances||Born between 23/09/1939 and 5/4/1954||Born on or before 22/09/1939|
|Qualifying and living alone||£200||£300|
|Qualifying and living with someone under 80 who also qualifies||£100||£250|
|Qualifying and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies||£100||£150|
|You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits||£100||£150|