Doherty advises on British Winter Fuel Payment
Speaking in relation to the entitlement of many Donegal people to claim the British Winter Fuel Payment, Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West Pearse Doherty said:
“Last year my office assisted hundreds of people to successfully claim an entitlement under the British Winter Fuel payment system.
“I have been in touch with the International Pension Centre in Britain and I have assured me that those living in Ireland in receipt of a partial or full British pension would be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment. In order to be considered eligible for 2014 payment, the claimant must be born on or before the 5th July 1952 and be able to show a “genuine and sufficient link” with Britain or the North.
“Many people who live in Donegal may not be aware of their eligibility for this payment, which is a tax free payment between £100 and £300 a year, depending on family circumstances, and is paid each year to successful claimants.
“Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2012, the British Winter Fuel Payment cannot be restricted to those ordinarily resident in Britain or the North but must be extended to eligible persons who can prove that they have a “genuine and sufficient” link to Britain or the North.
“While it would appear that the “genuine and sufficient” link is determined on a case by case basis, the factors taken into account include the length of time a person worked or resided in the Britain or the North, if the person is in receipt of a Social Security payment from Britain and if a person has immediate family ties with Britain or the North. Many Donegal people who have worked or lived for many years in the North or Britain and have now returned home could potentially satisfy these criteria. Those in receipt of a pension from Britain will qualify.
“I would encourage all those who think they may be entitled to this payment to download the EEA Winter Fuel Payment application form available at https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-to-claim and return it to the Winter Fuel Payment Scheme, International Pension Centre, Tyneview Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE981 BA. A Winter Fuel Payment Helpline is available on 0044 191 218 7777 for anyone who has any further queries or alternatively you can contact my constituency office on 0749532832. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31 March 2014”