Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Winter Fuel Payment

Quite a number of OAP expatriates in Europe do not receive this payment because the British Government have claimed that they should not receive it unless they received it before leaving Britain.  The legal position has been investigated by the Spanish Expatriates Association and the legal advisor (David Burrage) is satisfied that the position of the British Government is illegal in European Law.  
The blog author (Brian Cave) has read the detail and made reference to the relevant EU regulations as published on the internet and is equally satisfied as to this stance.
An outline letter to the relevant section of the Department of Works and Pensions has been complied for you to follow in order for you to apply for the WFP. follow this link.  And claim arrears!
If, as one supposes, the DWP will do all it can to oppose such applications, a personal petition will be placed before the EU.  So please retain any correspondence to aid in this and keep in touch.
It could well be that the general election will change the landscape and  it could just be that a new government will bring justice to all. 
A letter to all three political parties has been posted.  It does not draw specific attention to the WFP, but has a more general tenor. View the INDEX (on left) to find it.  [November 2010- No news,  All three parties are oblivious to pensioners on the Continent.]

p.s. the address for the appeal letter is
http://lefourquet.net/RdrsubWFP042010.doc   (no final dot!)


  1. Re new legal thinking on the Winter Fuel Payment, my wife and I had a very small agricultural business for several years in France and consequently had to pay the cotisations to the appropriate authority, in our case, the Mutuelle Societé Agricole. As a result of this, we both receive a very small pension from them, and although by far the major part of our pension comes from the UK, the UK left our health care in the hands of the MSA. Does this mean that we will still not be entitled to claim the WPF?

  2. Answer to Anonymous. It would seem that the French Social Security is your 'competent' authority for the support of you in old age. Therefore you probably cannot claim the WFP. Those who have never paid any social security in France are are firmer ground. Even so the fight will be tough!

  3. From JP.
    Had an answer to my request for the payment of the WFP with the relevant passage reading.........As you attained the age of 60 on the 23 May 2003. the first qualifying period which you could be considered for a payment was 15 -21 September 2003. However, due to th fact that you permanently moved to Spain in 1989 you did not acquire entitlement to the WFP while living in the UK you would not, therefore be entitled to receive the payment now that you are living in Spain.
    So now what??

  4. As indicated a petition to the EU has been made by the legal adviser to the Spanish Expatriate Association.
    You may wish to do the same.
    You could also reply using as a base the letter which another expatriate has composed - It is viewable via http://lefourquet.net/RdrsubWFP042010.doc.
    This letter gives a full legal exposition.
    A fresh posting on these lines will be published soon.

  5. I live in France and have just received a refusal. Has anyone tried an appeal to the independent tribunal in the UK? Not many know about it. Here's the page: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/sb16-a-guide-to-the-social/winter-fuel-payments/#diswfp

    I haven't found any reference to this right of appeal on your excellent website and certainly the DWP did not inform me of the right of appeal!

  6. Keith Cawsey.
    I applied for WFP and was refused on the grounds. That I left Great Britain before the 5th January 1998. This is before the qualifying week for the first year of the scheme.
    I left uk on the 18.06.97 at the age of 62 DOB 12.01.1935.

  7. Reply to Mr. Cawsey,
    The reply to you from DWP (or wherever) is normal. It is from a bureaucrat who is doing what his rules say he/she should. Note that a petition to the EU has been lodged and we await the consequence. But your letter will cause the bureaucratic system some inconvenience and help is sow another seed of doubt! One must never surrender to the bureaucracy.

  8. I too was refused because I left Great Britain before I was 60

    Mr Meason