Changes in the rules around the winter fuel payment mean you may be able to claim up to £300 even if you live abroad, but only if you meet the criteria.

Until this year people who lived outside the UK could not claim the Winter Fuel Payment.

But, following a  European Court of Justice ruling some people may now be able to claim from another European country as long as they have what is called ‘a genuine and sufficient link to the social security system of the UK’.

That translates as to qualify a person must:

1. Have been born on or before 5 July 1951;

2. Normally live in the UK and were there throughout the week of 17 to 23 September 2012;

3. Live in an European Economic Area (EEA) country and have a genuine link with the UK to claim from abroad;

If you have moved to Turkey recently you may have received the winter fuel payment.

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) makes Winter Fuel payments automatically with state pensions. So if you find you have received the payment following your move to Turkey it will be because you have not told the DWP of your change in circumstances.

If you have been living in Turkey continuously for the last year or more or are living there now then you cannot, according to the rules, claim the 2012/13 payment because Turkey is not part of the EEA. See the list of countries below.

Stay warm, stay safe this winter.

EEA Area

The EEA consists of the following countries:

The European Union (EU) is made up of the following countries:

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom (UK)

The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of all 27 EU countries and

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the EU.

Switzerland is not a member of the EEA but an agreement from 1 June 2002 means that the European Community rules on social security apply from that date.

More Information

Check out the uk.gov website here.

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