The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that pensioners will begin receiving a £300 payment per household with immediate effect.
The payment – which is being made to help pensioners cope with rising energy costs and wider increases in the cost of living – will be made in addition to the regular Winter Fuel Payments. This targeted support for pensioners comes as part of a package worth £4.5 billion, providing cost-of-living energy support for people of all ages.
The DWP advises pensioners that the payment will be made with a reference starting with their National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.
Whilst most pensioners will receive the payment automatically, the following people will need to make a claim to receive the funds:
Pensioners who have never received a Winter Fuel Payment only need to claim if any of the following apply:
- They do not receive benefits or the State Pension
- The only benefit they get is Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
- They live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country
Pensioners who have received a Winter Fuel Payment before only need to claim if since their last payment they have either:
- Deferred their State Pension, or
- Moved to Switzerland or an EEA country
Commenting on the announcement, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, stated: “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.”
CSPA deputy General Secretary David Luxton commented : “The additional payment is welcome financial relief for millions of pensioners currently struggling with their energy bills and the rising cost of food. Additional help will be needed from next April when the current Energy Price Guarantee rises by a further £500 a year to £3,500, meaning average energy bills of around £300 a month which will cause further hardship for millions of pensioners on a fixed pension income.”