IT looks as though UK pensioners who were not entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment may now be eligible to lodge a claim.
An elderly couple who live in France but left the UK before 1998, the cut off date for receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment, has received a letter from the Pension Service in Newcastle telling them they will soon receive a claim form.
The Pension Service says it will decide on entitlement to the payment by accessing if someone has a 'genuine and sufficient link to the UK' for example, how long they worked in the UK for and whether they are in receipt of a State pension or other benefits.
To make initial enquiries it is advisable to contact the International Pension Centre in Newcastle on:
Phone number: +44 191 218 7777
Fax number: +44 191 218 7021
Textphone: (for those with speech or hearing difficulties) +44 191 218 7280
International Pension Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
The receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment by people who moved to the EU from the UK before 1998 has previously been blocked, but it looks as though a European Court of Justice decision has forced a change.
I've put a request into the Pension Service for an official comment.