Winter Fuel Payment: Millions to receive up to £600 over coming weeks - what to do if you don’t receive yours

The average Pension Credit award is worth around £3,500 a year, and for people who may be eligible but are yet to apply, there is still time to do so

Millions of pensioners across the UK will receive payments of up to £600 to help with their energy bills throughout winter this week. The Winter Fuel Payment began filtering through from November 23 and will continue to land in bank accounts over the next two months, the vast majority automatically.

The money will appear in bank statements with the payment reference starting with the customer’s national Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in England, Scotland and Wales or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.

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The 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. The £600 payment is being boosted by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment.

Mel Stride, Work and Pensions secretary, said: “We want to do everything we can to support pensioners who are often the most exposed to higher costs. That’s why we’re providing all pensioner households with an additional £300 on top of their Winter Fuel Payments to heat their homes and stay warm this winter.

“This extra payment is just one part of the wider support package we’re delivering to help with rising bills, including the biggest State Pension increase in history. Our support doesn’t stop here.

“As we deal with the impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic, we will continue to stand by the most vulnerable, with further cost of living payments coming next year.”

If you qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you should have received it by January 13, 2023. Those who do not receive a payment should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

This month, more than seven million “cost of living” payments of £324 have been made to low-income households as part of this government’s cost of living support. This includes pensioners receiving Pension Credit.

The average Pension Credit award is worth around £3,500 a year, and for those pensioners who may be eligible but are yet to make an application, there is still time to do so and qualify for this additional £324 payment. This is because Pension Credit claims can be backdated by up to three months, provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.

To ensure that a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for extra £324 cost of living help, pensioners are being urged to claim Pension Credit as soon as possible, and by no later than December 18. 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.

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