Social security experience panels: cold spell and winter fuel payment - visual summary

Findings from research with Social Security experience panels members on the new cold spell heating assistance and winter heating assistance.

Winter Fuel Payments

More than half (56 per cent) of respondents said that they had received a Winter Fuel Payment.

Four in five (77 per cent) said they had received the Winter Fuel Payment automatically.

One in six (16 per cent) had applied for the Winter Fuel Payment. Respondents who had used the application process to receive Winter Fuel Payment mostly had a positive experience. 

They said that:

  • The process was quick and simple
  • They had received enough information
  • The payment was helpful

They said it could be improved by:

  • Advertising more widely
  • Increasing the payment amount

More than eight in ten (81 per cent) respondents who had received Winter Fuel Payment said they had received a letter telling them that they were going to receive the payment. 

Almost all said that they understood why they they got the letter. Many said there was nothing they would change about it.

Some said it could be improved. They suggested:

  • Clearer information about the difference between the types of payments.
  • That the information could be sent in a more accessible way.
  • A small number of respondents who had received Winter Fuel Payment said that their energy supply was “off-grid”. 
  • Some felt that it would be useful to receive payments earlier in the year so that they could buy fuel when it was cheaper.
  • Others felt it was helpful to get the payment when bills are higher.



Back to top