Winter Fuel Payments: Disabled
Work and Pensions

Photo of Danny Alexander

Danny Alexander (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Work & Pensions; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of extending the winter fuel payment scheme to disabled people under 60 years who are in receipt of (a) the middle or higher rate care component and (b) the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance in each of the next five years.

Photo of Mike O'Brien

Mike O'Brien (Minister of State (Pension Reform), Department for Work and Pensions; North Warwickshire, Labour)

Winter fuel payments were created to give pensioners reassurance that they can afford to heat their homes in winter. It is paid in a lump sum each winter to ensure that money is available when fuel bills arrive.

Help is already available through disability benefits and the disability premium in income-related benefits in recognition of the extra costs, including heating, which disabled people may have. The extra heating needs of disabled people by and large, arise all year round, not just in the winter months.

Information is not available in the format requested. Many individuals are in receipt of both a care component and mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA).

The following table details the estimated cost of extending winter fuel payments to individuals in receipt of some combination of the higher or middle rate care component of DLA and/or the higher rate mobility component of DLA or one of these components on its own.

All under 60 (including children) 2008-09 prices (£ million)
Total cost in each year
2008-09 290
2009-10 290
2010-11 290
2011-12 285
2012-13 280
Total cost over five years 1,435
Notes:

1. All figures are rounded to the nearest 5 million.

2. Figures are consistent with Budget 2008 Expenditure Forecasts.

3. Figures are based on DLA liveload forecasts for GB which include some cases where the DLA payment is suspended.

4. Figures above include claimants aged under 60 (including children) with high/middle care and/or high mobility component.

5. It is assumed that each claimant is the sole qualifier in the household and is awarded a winter fuel payment of £200. This is likely to over-estimate the total cost as it does not account for any shared payments.

6. Costs in 2008-09 prices fall over time under the assumption of the winter fuel payment being fixed in cash terms.

Source:

DWP Forecasts.

Annotations

Fran Horne
Posted on 6 Jan 2009 9:49 pm (Report this annotation)

Winter fuel payments are not available to disabled persons such as myself who have chronic illnesses and often lower household incomes. I am forced to have my heating on far lower than is optimal as I cannot afford the utility bills if I turn up the heat. I am often imobile for long periods and get can get very cold.

I wrote to the relevant secretary of state and was told my DLA covered this, I had pointed out that disabled pensioners get both their benefits AND winter fuel payments, although this reasoning was dismissed.

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