Winter fuel grants available from 25 January 2023

UNISON’s annual winter fuel grant programme offering grants of £200 opens Wednesday 25 January 2023 at 10am.


The winter fuel grant programme offers a one-off, non-repayable grant of £200 to help UNIONS’s most vulnerable low-income members and to help ease the worry of paying for their next fuel bill during the coldest months of the year.

UNISON understands the financial hardship many members are facing – struggling to make ends meet, particularly with RPI inflation still running at 14% as of the end of November, and energy usage generally at its highest over January and February.

Last year, the charity raised over £1m with its energy support appeal in order to support members through the unprecedented upturn in the cost of energy bills and two phases of grants from the resulting fund provided thousands of members with support. A third phase is due to be announced in the coming months.

The winter fuel grant programme will only be open to those who have not received a grant from the charity since 31 July 2022.

The grant programme is limited to 2,000 applicants and will close once the maximum number of applications has been received.

Winter fuel grant 2023 eligibility   

Applicants must:   

  • be a UNISON member and have paid at least four weeks’ subscriptions as of 25th January. Subscriptions must be up to date;
  • not have been a successful recipient of our recent energy support fund grant;   
  • not have received a grant from UNISON Welfare since 31 July 2022, excluding the school clothing grant;   
  • not have received more than £750 in UNISON Welfare grants if applying within first year of membership;    
  • have savings (including the total rolling balance on current accounts) below £1,000 to qualify;   
  • must be responsible (or their partner, if applicable) for household fuel bills. Only one application per household will be considered.   

And either …

 Be on a low income, meaning:   

  • for a single person (living alone with no dependent children): Net household income* of no more than £18,200/year (£1,516.67/month);
  • living with a partner (living with no dependent children): Net household income* of no more than £26,000/year (£2,166.67/month);  
  • for a single person (living alone with dependent children): Net household income* of no more than £26,000/year (£2,166.67/month);   
  • living with a partner (living with dependent children): Net household income* of no more than £26,000/year (£2,166.67/month). 

* Net household income includes your monthly take-home pay from work (plus your partner’s if applicable), any income from child maintenance payments, any income from student finance loans or bursaries, pensions (excluding pension credit) and any income from people living with you (for instance, adult children or lodgers). 

or …

Be in receipt of means-tested benefits. These include:

  • universal credit;
  • housing benefit;
  • child and/or working tax credits;
  • pension credit;
  • means-tested jobseekers’ allowance;
  • means-tested employment support allowance;
  • income support.

What can I get help with?  

We can help with a one-off, non-repayable grant of £200. We want to make this fund go as far as possible and help as many members as we can.  Please only apply if you are in financial difficulty. There is a limited amount in the Winter Fuel Grant fund and we are only able to accept 2,000 applications.  

What if I don’t know my membership number?

We cannot accept applications without a membership number. This can often be found at the bottom of any emails you have received from UNISON.  Alternatively, please contact UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.  

How will you contact me?

Acknowledgement – Successful online submissions will receive an automated message confirming your application has been received. If this doesn’t show in your ‘inbox’, please check your ‘junk/spam’ folders.   

 Processing time – You should not expect to receive an immediate decision. It could take up to 8 weeks before you hear from us. Providing your application meets the membership checks, we will require further evidence to support your application and we will be in touch via email to request this. Please do not send chasing emails as we will be unable to respond.  

If I have recently received a grant can I apply?

If you have received a grant from UNISON Welfare since 31 July 2022, excluding the School Clothing Grant, you will not be eligible to apply for a Winter Fuel Grant  

How do I apply?

All applications should be made online via the link below. Make sure you have your membership number to hand.  The scheme opens at 10am on Wednesday 25 January.

Apply for Winter Fuel Grant 2023

If you are unable to complete the application due to an accessibility issue, please email: or call UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857. 

For further information, visit There For You (UNISON welfare)