Pensioners across the country have started to receive up to £600 to help with energy bills this winter.
Winter Fuel Payments – boosted again this year by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment – will 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 Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.
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. The payments deliver additional support to pensioners, the majority of whom are on fixed incomes and also are unable to raise their incomes through fixed employment.
The start of the Winter Fuel Payments season comes hot on the heels of the recent £300 Cost of Living payments made by the DWP to more than seven million eligible households across the UK.
Pensioners receiving Pension Credit also qualify for this extra support. The average Pension Credit award is now worth £3,900 per year and there is still time for those who are eligible to apply and receive the £300 Cost of Living payment.
This is because an eligible claim for Pension Credit can be backdated by three months provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.