Elderly lose up to £100 from winter fuel allowance

  john 52 12:47 24 Mar 2011
  Woolwell 12:54 24 Mar 2011

It wasn't means tested. Those over 60 in full time employment still got it for example. There has to be a better way of helping those who do have problems with their fuel bills.

  anchor 13:01 24 Mar 2011

Like a number of other benefits, it was not means tested, and could be claimed for those still working.

However, for many of us on fixed retirement income, we will have to find more next winter. Energy prices continue to rise, but benefit goes down.

  wids001 13:28 24 Mar 2011

As pensioners of 85 and 83 respectively we are entitled to the £400 winter fuel allowance.

However, I can honestly say that we have never used it to pay the heating bills, and our pensions, disabled allowances etc., has always covered this. We have never scrimped on the heating either, if it's cold the heating goes on, it's as simple as that.

I agree to a certain extent that this needs to be targeted (and if paid then paid out in February or March and not in November) but the problem with this is that many pensioners are either too proud to claim or, in the case of ouselves, bamboozled by the forms that need to be filled to claim even the smallest of benefits. It is only the fact that our children are close by and complete the forms for us that we are able to claim otherwise I am sure we would have given up and then struggled along.

  WHTDSOB 13:34 24 Mar 2011

Then those who really do need it should get a better share.

Same as free travel.

  john 52 13:34 24 Mar 2011

fourm member
I've said many times before that the Winter Fuel Payment was a political bribe not a benefit.

I am sure many people found the so called bribe the difference between having the heating on and being able to pay the fuel bill.!is not the Support for families in the south-west of England with water bills not a political bribe then or does that not apply in this case. I wonder if a strong LD constituency presence has anything to do with it ?
The mistake is making the allowance universal to every person regardless of income .

  Woolwell 15:00 24 Mar 2011

Perhaps too much joined up thinking and too many departments sharing information but it should be possible to send out money to all those over 60/70 who do not pay income tax. HMRC should have that data but then their recent record hasn't been good.

  woody 15:39 24 Mar 2011

Not on topic - but there seem to be some crinklies on this post.
What do you do to while away your day?
A lot of things we can no longer do as we get old.

With regard to doing away with free bus pass - it would be better - in view of the widespread fraud - to stop disabled payments and free cars etc with the savings going towards a decent public transport.

  peter99co 15:54 24 Mar 2011

Stop disabled payments and free cars?

Are you mad? How do the disabled get about then or don't you care. What a strange suggestion.

What use is decent public transport to a person who cannot use it?

The target is to find and punish those who commit the widespread fraud. Including the brain dead who use disabled facilities with total disregard for the genuine disabled.

Some would give back their free cars if the surgeon could refit their lost limbs.

Some crinklies on this post! Do you also vote for euthanasia?

  spuds 16:38 24 Mar 2011

I could be very wrong, but I assume that the number of people who returned their fuel allowance or donated it to other courses, didn't help matters much, which might appear to some a thrifty nation of aged citizens.

wids001 make a good reference to form filling and claiming. Most of the forms can be very complicated for the older mind, and that was why the government agencies use to send out annually a letter about surplus funds, and people not making claims to 'their entitlements'. The practice of sending out these letters now seems to have ceased, possibly I suspect was the administration costs of sending out these reminders, which far exceeded the surplus funds being paid to those who were not in a catch 22 situation. I use to complete a number of these forms for the older people in my area, and there was not one case of anyone receiving a payment, more like a rejection letter because they were a few £00's over the limit for these 'entitlements'.

Regarding the Labour government introduced travel pass scheme, that works in conjunction with local council participation and administration. I wonder if people have yet realised that this scheme in its present form (in England at least)is coming to its original life, and as such, this scheme may well be abolished, unless local council's want to fund the idea themselves, or the government extends the present funding arrangements. Perhaps that will be another shock for the people dependent on a free travel pass, with the usual terms and conditions that are applied.

2012 might be an even bleaker year for some, and perhaps more so for those living on a meek pension. But I note that the government have mentioned a £140.00 pension for all?.

  tullie 16:38 24 Mar 2011

Nobody gets a free car,those on the higher rate of DLA get the car instead of their benefit.

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