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GOV.UK pays £600 winter help to over 11.5 million pensioners

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11.6 million Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments – support worth a total of £4.6 billion – have already been made to pensioners across the UK this winter, the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed today.

The vast majority of these payments – worth up to £600 per household – have landed in pensioners’ bank accounts automatically, directly helping people manage their energy bills and household budgets.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:

As the cold weather bites, it is good to be able to confirm that over 99 percent of eligible pensioners have already received as much as £600 to help with their energy bills this winter.

These payments are just one part of the wider support package we are delivering to help with rising bills, with additional help to follow next year – including the biggest State Pension increase in history.

Pensioners who have not yet received their payment should not be concerned, as payments are continuing into January. However, pensioners who have not received their payments by 13 January 2023 should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre online or by telephone.

The payments appear in bank statements with the payment reference beginning with the customer’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland. Pensioners are being asked to double check their bank statements for this reference number before contacting DWP.

The overwhelming majority of Winter Fuel Payments are paid automatically but some people need to make a claim, such as those who qualify but do not receive benefits or the State Pension and have never previously received a Winter Fuel Payment.

Those who need to make a claim have until 31 March 2023 to do so, with further information on who needs to make a claim available on the GOV.UK Winter Fuel Payment page.

Winter Fuel Payments – boosted this year by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment – are part of an extensive package helping people of all ages with the cost of heating their homes this winter.

This includes providing households with £400 towards their energy bills, with the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee saving the typical household another £900 on top of this.

In addition, millions of payments of up to £650 have already been made this year to low-income households on eligible means-tested benefits as part of the government’s cost of living support. This includes pensioners receiving Pension Credit.

The average Pension Credit award is worth over £3,500 a year and the online Pension Credit calculator is on hand to help pensioners check if they’re likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive.

Alongside this, households receiving certain benefits – including Pension Credit – could be eligible for extra money between now and the end of March 2023 thanks to DWP’s Cold Weather Payments.

These are an automatic bank top-up of £25, paid to eligible households when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, zero degrees C or below over seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to an eligible person’s postcode. Postcodes already triggered this Winter can be found on the GOV.UK Cold Weather Payments Checker.

Further cost of living support to be paid next year was recently announced by the Chancellor. Payments will include a further £300 for pensioner households, up to £900 for households on means-tested benefits and £150 for those on eligible disability benefits.

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