Department for Work and Pensions
Pensioners receive £4.8 billion in government support to heat their homes over winter
11.9 million Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments – worth over £4.8 billion – have been made to pensioners across the UK over the past month
- Around 11.9 million Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments have been made to pensioners across the UK over the past month.
- This means more than 99% of eligible pensioners have now received up to £600 per household to help with their energy bill this Christmas for the second year running.
- The support – worth over £4.8bn – comes on top of the biggest State Pension increase on record, and a commitment to a further increase next April.
Each pensioner household has received up to £600 in tax-free cash automatically to help with energy bills and household budgets this winter.
It follows this year’s 10.1% State Pension increase – the largest in the history of the State Pension – with next year’s 8.5% increase set to break records again as the full rate of the New State Pension rises to over £11,500 a year. This means it will rise to £221.20 a week.
It also comes as the government has delivered on its commitment to halve inflation which is the best way to put more money in the pockets of hard-working people.
Our economy has turned a corner, with inflation halved and debt on track to fall, we are able to move away from the big government, high spending, high borrowing, and high tax approach that was necessary before, and focusing on the long-term decisions required to strengthen our economy and give people the opportunity to build a wealthier, more secure life for themselves and their family.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:
Today shows we have honoured our commitment to protect pensioners throughout the cold winter months by paying out £4.8bn of direct support in a matter of days.
As well as getting this vital money to millions of pensioners, we have fulfilled our pledge to halve inflation and boosted the State Pension through the Triple Lock to ensure pensioners are supported after a lifetime of work.
While 11.9 million payments have already been issued, those who have not yet received theirs should not worry, as payments are continuing into January.
The money will appear in bank accounts with the payment reference starting with the customer’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP.’ Pensioners are being asked to double check their bank statements for this reference number before contacting the DWP.
Minister for Pensions Paul Maynard said:
As the cold weather bites, we want every pensioner to receive all the help they can. I’m glad to be able to confirm that 99% of those eligible for this generous support have received it.
We also encourage low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility as they could be on average £3,900 a year better off.
Pension Credit is available for those with the lowest household incomes. This is worth, on average, £3,900 a year, and also acts as a gateway for further help with rent, council tax, heating, and TV licences.
Our Pension Credit Day of Action last year saw claims more than double to 275% compared to the same week the previous year.
Pensioners in receipt of Pension Credit also qualify for our wider extensive support package for vulnerable people of all ages across the country. This includes the final Cost of Living instalment worth £299.
This follows the Government’s Autumn Statement, which set out £104 billion to ease cost of living pressures for those on low incomes.
The Cost of Living Payments, spread across 2023/24, are worth up to £900 for those on means-tested benefits. This is made up of:
- £301 – Paid between April - May 2023
- £300 – Paid between October - November 2023
- £299 – To be paid in February 2024
Winter Fuel Payments/Pensioner Cost of Living Payment were made to eligible pensioner households from 21 November - 7 December. The vast majority of payments should be made by 26 January.
Those who do not receive a payment by 26 January 2024 should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
The overwhelming majority of pensioners will receive their payment automatically, but some people need to claim:
If you have not got a Winter Fuel Payment before, you only need to claim if any of the following apply:
- you do not get benefits or the State Pension
- the only benefit you get is Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
- you live in Switzerland or an eligible EEA country
If you have got a Winter Fuel Payment before, you only need to claim if since your last payment you have either:
- deferred your State Pension
- moved to Switzerland or an eligible EEA country
Winter Fuel Payments can be claimed by phone or by post.
Further information about claiming can be found here: Winter Fuel Payment: How to claim - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For more information on Pension Credit, to use the free online calculator, to check eligibility or to claim, visit gov.uk/pension-credit or call 0800 99 1234.
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