HC Deb 10 November 2000 vol 356 c441W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many men have been eligible to receive a backdated Winter Fuel Payment, broken down into those who(a) have received the payment and (b) are still waiting to be paid. [135720]

Angela Eagle

Following the changes made to the Winter Fuel Payment scheme, the number of men who may now be eligible for payments in respect of previous years is around 1.7 million.

Payments in respect of previous years must be claimed and it is open to those who are now eligible to choose whether they wish to make a claim.

An information campaign has been running since April to inform potential customers about the changes to the scheme and what, if anything, they need to do.

To date, we have received 950,000 claims from men who have chosen to claim these payments, and around 930,000 payments have already been issued in respect of these claims. Outstanding claims from this group (currently estimated to be around 15,000) are being dealt with and payments will be issued on successful claims, in early December. Claims for past winters are not subject to any time limits and we continue to receive them daily.

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