Irish pensioners who have returned to Ireland after working in the UK are entitled to claim Britain’s Winter Fuel Allowance, according to Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal Alan Farrell, due to a ruling of the European Court of Justice in 2012. However claims must be made by the 31st March 2013.
“It is important that all Irish pensioners who spent their lives working in the UK are aware that they may be entitled to Britain’s Winter Fuel Payment Allowance, worth up to €350 per year.
“There are up to 131,000 Irish pensioners that are likely to be eligible for this payment and yet this information is not commonly known.
“This is a tax free annual payment, ranging between £100 and £300. I would strongly urge pensioners who spent their lives working in the UK to investigate if they qualify.
“Before 2012, this payment was only available to people who transferred from the UK scheme to the Irish scheme when moving back to Ireland. However, following a ruling from the European Court of Justice in 2012, the qualifying criteria has been extended to people who worked all their lives in the UK but did not avail of the allowance when living there.
“”To be eligible for this fuel payment, the only requirement is that a claimant was born on or before 5 July 1951 and have a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ with the UK. Having a British pension is not a strict qualifying factor but of course, it will be of enormous help when applying. Undoubtedly, many Irish people can easily prove they have lived or worked in the UK for most of their working lives.
“Further details on the scheme can be obtained by accessing
https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/how-to-claim. However I would urge people to act quickly as your claim will need to be received by the 31st March 2013 for any payments to be made.”