More than 11.6 million Uk pensioners will begin receiving up to £600 in assistance with their energy bills this winter from Wednesday, November 23.

The government’s Winter Fuel Payments have been increased by £300 per household this year as part of the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

Payments will be made into bank accounts within the next two months.

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says the vast majority of payments will be made automatically.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride 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.”

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The funds will appear on bank statements with a payment reference that begins with the customer’s national insurance number and ends with “DWP WFP” for people in England, Scotland, and Wales, or “DFC WFP” for people in Northern Ireland.

While most payments will be made automatically in November or December, some people, such as those who qualify but do not receive benefits or the state pension and have never received a Winter Fuel Payment before, may need to make a claim, according to the DWP.

According to the DWP, anyone who has not received their payment by January 13, 2023, should get in touch with the Winter Fuel Payment Center.

As part of the government’s cost of living assistance program, almost seven million payments of £324 have already been made to low-income households this month.

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Pensioners who get Pension Credits are included in this.

And older people who may be qualified but have not yet submitted an application still have time to do so and be eligible for the additional £324 payment.

The average Pension Credit award is worth more than £3,500 per year.

This is due to the fact that Pension Credit claims may be backdated by up to three months if all eligibility requirements were satisfied during that time.

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

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Pensioners can use an online Pension Credit calculator to see if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of how much they might receive.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced additional cost-of-living assistance for next year in his autumn statement last week.

A further £300 will be paid to pensioners, £900 to households receiving means-tested benefits, and £150 to those receiving disability benefits.

The autumn statement also confirmed that retirees will see a 10.1 percent increase in their state pension from next April after Mr. Hunt confirmed that the pensions triple lock will be protected.

The full new state pension is currently £185.15 per week, so an increase of 10.1 percent would bring it up to £203.85.

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The increase means a weekly increase from £141.85 to £156.20 for those on the full, old basic state pension who reached state pension age before April 2016.

The triple lock is normally used to calculate the increase in the state pension, but it was temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic’s distorting effects.

People should also be wary of bogus texts and emails purporting to offer cost-of-living payments, which may attempt to trick them into providing personal information.

Source: Evening Standard

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