§ Maria Eagle
This winter, 2001–02, an estimated 500,000 people became newly entitled to a winter fuel payment. At least 255,000 of these people have been paid automatically.
Exact numbers of people who need to claim are not available; however, up to 8 March, over 217,000 claim forms had been received. Eligible people who need to submit a claim have until 30 March 2002 to do so and it is up to the individual to choose whether to claim.