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National Concessionary Fuel Scheme

This page explains the details of the UK-wide National Concessionary Fuel Scheme. It provides free solid coal fuel allowance to ex-employees of National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation.

NCFS SCHEME: Are you an ex-employee of the National Coal Board (NCB) or British Coal Corporation (BCC)?

If so, you could get entitlement to miners free coal solid fuel. You might also get some cash concessions through the program run by NCFS.

Coal Allowance You May Get

If you are already getting fuel through the National Concessionary Fuel Scheme you may also qualify to get the cash allowance as well. The cash in lieu is sometimes called ‘concessionary fuel cash lieu‘.

Note: A widow or widower of an ex-employee qualifying for NCFS may also be eligible for the heating allowance.

Solid Fuel Coal Allowance

If you qualify for the solid fuel allowance UK you will receive a coal delivery every four or five weeks. But, the frequency of miners free coal depends on where you live.

Changing the solid fuel delivery to ‘concessionary fuel cash lieu’ (cash concession) may be possible. As a rule you should already be getting fuel through the scheme with no change to your circumstances.

Claimants need to return a Certificate of Continued Entitlement each year to retain qualification for the allowance.

NCFS Fuel Scheme Cash Payments

Cash allocations get paid every three months. The money goes directly into your bank or building society account.

National Concessionary Fuel Scheme Eligibility

You need to contact the National Concessionary Fuel Office (NCFO) to determine whether you will qualify for the scheme.

Most ex-employees of the National Coal Board (NCB) or British Coal Corporation (BCC) will be eligible for the scheme. Widows and widowers of ex-employees may also qualify.

NCFO Helpline
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0345 759 0529 or 0370 386 9961
Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm
UK-wide phone call charges.

Coal Allowance Circumstantial Changes

If your circumstances change your heating allowance might get affected. You will need to inform the NCFO of any changes. Changes in your circumstances could include:

  • The person who owns or rents your property changes.
  • The person who lives in your home changes (family or lodgers moving in).
  • You change your heating arrangements.
  • You remarry, marry or move in with a partner (widows, widowers and dependents only).
  • You take up employment or self-employment.

Note: Any overpayments must be repaid in full if your cash allowance goes down.

How to Claim NCFS Heating Allowance UK

To make a claim you should contact the National Concessionary Fuel Office (NCFO) and apply.

National Concessionary Fuel Office
PO Box 64
S1 1XL

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0345 759 0529 or 0370 386 9961
Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm

Applying for Someone Else

You can apply for the fuel allowance on behalf of someone else if they are unable to apply themselves. You will need to get authorisation by having either a:

  • Letter from the Department of Work and Pensions stating you have authorisation to act on their behalf.
  • Photocopy of your Power of Attorney.
  • Letter signed by the person you are applying for stating that you are looking after their affairs.

If cash payments get paid into a different account from the person receiving the allowance, then you will need:

  • A Photocopy of your Power of Attorney.
  • A Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions stating that you are looking after their financial affairs.
  • The Form (or mandate) from the NFCO signed by the person you are applying for.

Delivery Changes to Coal Allowance

You may change your fuel delivery date or the amount of fuel you want delivered. You will need to contact CPL Distribution on 0845 521 5214.

The same number applies if you want to change the type of fuel you get. But, you can only get one type of fuel delivered at a time. More advice about national concessionary solid fuel types is available from the Solid Fuel Association.

Note: You cannot sell or give away any unused fuel. That means you must refuse surplus deliveries. Left over fuel must get collected by the distributor if you change your type of solid fuel appliance.

Switching Coal Allowance to Cash Allowance

To switch from fuel to a cash allowance you should contact the National Concessionary Fuel Office. They will need your bank or building society account details. You can switch back to solid fuel but only after a period of twelve months.


Cold Weather vs. Winter Fuel Payments – What is the Difference?
The Winter Fuel Payment is not linked to temperature. They are yearly one-off payments to help eligible people pay for their heating in winter. Whereas Cold Weather Payments get paid for each 7-day period of very cold weather in your area.

How Does the Warm Home Discount Scheme Work?
In the United Kingdom the Warm Home Discount Scheme could save you £140 off your winter electricity bill during the cold months. The money is a one-off discount taken off your electricity bill.

Am I Entitled to Extra Heating Allowance?
The government Heating Allowance Scheme is for old age pensioners. Those who qualify will get between £100 and £300 in tax-free benefits.

National Concessionary Fuel Scheme: NCFS Coal Allowance in the United Kingdom