HC Deb 12 March 2001 vol 364 cc460-1W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of those men aged between 60 and 64 years have not been issued with their Winter Fuel Payment; and if he will set a deadline for these outstanding payments to be made. [152659]

Mr. Rooker

For this winter, we estimated that up to 1.5 million additional people could be newly eligible as a result of the changes to the eligibility rules. So far as we have received around 1.3 million claims, but people have until 30 March 2001 to claim a payment for this winter.

For past winters, we estimated that up to 1.9 million people could be newly eligible. So far around 1 million claims have been made and paid. There is no time limit on claiming payments for past winters.

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 existing and potential customers about the changes to the scheme and what, if anything, they need to do.