Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has urged local people to check if they are eligible to receive a Winter Fuel Payment.
Payments of up to £300 is currently available to anyone who was born on, or before, 5 July 1952.
The Minister was speaking after he called into the Winter Warmth Clinic being facilitated by Belfast City Council at Shaftesbury Community and Recreation Centre.
Encouraging people to apply, Minister Storey said: “With winter fast approaching it is imperative that older people get all the support they need to be able to meet the costs of their heating bills.
“While payments are automatic for previous claimants, some older people may not realise that they could be entitled to this extra money.”
You are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment if you:
were born on or before 5th July 1952, or;
were resident in the UK during the qualifying week of 15 - 21 September 2014, and receiving State Pension or certain other qualifying benefits. The Winter Fuel Payment will be paid to these people automatically.
The Minister added: “I would encourage all those people born on or before 5 July 1952, to contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0845 9151 515 to check if they can make a claim. With us all facing harder financial times, a little bit extra can always help.”
New claimants can download a claim form online at: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment or call the helpline on 0845 9151 515 or 0845 606 0285 for textphone users.
Payments will start to issue in November 2014 and new claims must be received no later than 31 March 2015.