Winter fuel payments (WFP)- backdated claims refused

9 Replies

Hi, I have posted this topic on my local Anglo-info forum, as part of an on-going thread and it has generated some interest. I noted members here were interested in WFP at the latter half of last year and may be able to shed some light on my dilemma. Following the judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which held that EU law prevented Member States from ‘ ..making an award of ... benefit (to be) subject to a condition of ordinary residence in that state...’, I have successfully claimed my WFP for this year. I also submitted the ‘Claim form for Winter Fuel Payment for past winters’ from the DWP web-site. (The form that was published in October last year, not the current one, which excludes periods 2000/2001 to 2011) This claim has been rejected on the grounds of lateness. I have tried to understand the rationale. The correspondence has gone as follows: Me: Can I apply for a backdated award? DWP: Certainly, fill in the form. Me: There you are, all correct now that the rules have changed. Can I have my money please. DWP: No, very sorry, but you are late in applying, you needed to apply as long ago as 2008. Me: But you told me I couldn’t apply then, ‘cos I wasn’t living in theUKat the time. DWP: That’s right. Me: But now you’ve been told by a higher authority that you were wrong to not let me apply. DWP: Yes, you’re right. Me: So, because you were wrong, you have now given me the right to apply and given me a form to fill-in. DWP Yes, right again. Me: Good, you’ve got the form - and agree I meet all the conditions? DWP: What can I say?, you’re right again. Me: Great, can you send me the money then. DWP: No, sorry, the rules still say that you had to apply as long ago as 2008: You’re late. Being late = No money. Goodbye. I have the feeling that Sir Humphrey is alive and well and moderating the DWP. Can anyone explain the bureaucratic logic for me? Anne (I hope it isn't bad etiquette to Forum-hop?)  

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little mo-885126 1360232986

Well, I applied for the first time in 2012, and got my first payment before the end of that year.

However, there was no question of any payments being back-dated, even though I have been past the sell by date for some years.

I wrote to the UK and asked them to send the appropriate forms, no problem, even though I was told I could download them, which I opted not to do. Why waste my printer ink for loads of pages?!

nannysue 1360236840

The DWP is an equal opportunities employer and as such it employs every numpty who cannot get a job anywhere else. There is no rational for their cavalier decisions, they just pick an answer out of a hat. When they say that a claim is dealt with on an individual basis, it is to cover the fact that all decisions are random and refers, not to the claimant but the person making the decision. As for their website, NEVER have I wasted sooo much time in trying to navigate a site only to be told that I must contact them to get a pin number sent to me via the postal service to continue my search. UNBELIEVABLE !!!!!!!

anne.dekapp-327530 1360268292

Littlemo, hi, thanx for your comments.

When you said "....there was no question of any payments being back-dated..." Did you ask them?

The reason I ask is that they have re-issued the claim form for backdated awards, changing it so that it is very restricted as to the periods allowed for retrospective claims. If I  had been allowed to claim under the changed regulations, I would have 4 years of payments awarded.

Clearly, someone at DWP has thought again (somewhere between 100,000 and 300,00 potential applicants seeking £200 a year for up to 10 years- focuses the purse-holder's mind).

I could well do with the extra £800, logs are not cheap and you burn a lot when the thermometer hits  -22 deg C, as it did here last year.

Rgds Anne

riggers64 1360273137

Nannydue-your comments are ill founded & typical of the people who do not understand that the DWP has things foisted on them by the Govt & EU.Most of DWP staff are working their socks off to try & do the impossible sometimes & won praise from independent firms/newspapers  for example of the way it responded to the processing of Unemployment claims when claim numbers rose astroniomically.You do a great injustice to DWP staff.What you have put in your post about the pin indicates you did not read the instructions for registering properly as I knew I had to receive mine by post,& it arrive in either 2 or 3 working days.DWP staff have to interpret the laws & have procedures manuals & if mistakes are made decisions are corrected asap.People have the right to go to the Appeals Tribunals free of charge & EU court if necessary.People do have to try & understand the rules which are made by the Gov,another example of which was whem men wanted to claim Widows Benefit when the Govt  only allowed it to be awarded to women.

ANN-DEKAPP-Take your decision to appeals-it is free.If you feel you have been misdirected by an officer of the DWP you can write in with full details-names/dates etc 


geoffhall 1360279867

As I understood it, the rules were simple. Starting in 2012, Britons living in France were entitled to claim winter fuel payment. Before that they were not. The European Court may have instructed Britain to allow applications from ex-pats (and this is what they did) but there was no instruction that the application of this law had to be back-dated.

Be thankful that you are now entitled to somehting you did not have in 2011 - and move on - please


anne.dekapp-327530 1360302847


Thanks for your interest, but I cannot agree with your understanding.

The ruling by the CJEU took time and determined that the regulations, extant from the introduction of  WFP, were in error.

DWP has accepted this and consequently published "Claim form for Winter Fuel Payment for past winters 1997/98, 1998/99 and 1999/00"

The intervening periods are , in DWP eyes, subject to a lateness clause. Their own interpretation, of their liability.

They were wrong once! They couldn't be wrong again-could they?



Fish24 1360317523

Just wish to say that I'm in the same position as little mo, way past the sell by date, and have been very grateful for the 2012 200£or 245€ (= the 21 years I did contribute). I even wrote and said THANK YOU! Consider yourselves  lucky that it even exists for UK residents.

I have not contributed anything to UK finances for the past 33-odd years so, logically and civically, taking into account the financial situation of the UK at the present time, I accept the fact that times are hard and I do not merit asking for back-dated payments.  I can't even ask the French system as it only exists under a certain income level

When the sterling times were good, I seem to remember that the Spanish property market was over-run by certain people investing their surplus into Spain and elsewhere (Cyprus) but then couldn't get their money out of Spain when they decided to cash in at a later date. Nowadays you can take your money out so be thankful for small mercies. I maybe wrong and someone will correct me, no doubt!

Times change and the risk is always there but I seem to remember that UK got a substantial rebate back from the EU in 1984 so where did that money go and to whom? They were at the bottom of the %income market just after that (see a BBC 2004 comparative site).

I feel very annoyed (via my 33-year French contributions) that quite a number of new-European (and other) foreigners come to France, expect and ask for certain benefits after their S1s finish  but have not contributed into the system, the same as most of you who remember your comments concerning ex-Commonwealth (and other) foreigners coming into England many years ago.

This is where I, personally, agree with geoffhall's comment and  the day the EU get their act together to include the same rules and regulations for all which will never happen but one can always dream!!!

nannysue 1360317762

Rigger 64

There is always one banner waving self righteous soul in every debate isn't there and this time, you are he !!  This WAS an interesting light hearted informal debate, but then there was you, good luck with the campaign.

anne.dekapp-327530 1360786317

Fish24, Hi

Can I reflect on the final point in your comments :- "....the day the EU get their act together to include the same rules and regulations for all....". I agree.

The CJEU ruling surely echoed this sentiment - same payments for all UK citizens living within the EU.

If individuals feel they have no moral right to receive the payments, they may wave those rights ( as families have done recently in the 'child benefit' entitlement). I, for one, feel fully entitled to receive hardship payments : Never had any hand-outs from the state;contributed 40yrs into the system etc etc. Moral issues are one thing - but 'rules is rules' and should be unambigous.


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