Money Wellness
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calendar icon27 Nov 2023

Millions of pensioners to get £600 winter support from today – find out if you’re eligible

For the second year running, around 11.5 million pensioners will receive money to help with their energy bills this winter.

Winter fuel payments, which are double the £300 paid last winter, will land in pensioners’ bank accounts over the next two months, with all payments due to be received by 26 January 2024. If you think you’re eligible and haven’t received a payment by then, you’ll need to get in touch with the winter fuel payment centre.

According to the government, the money will appear in bank statements with the payment reference starting with the person’s national insurance followed by ‘DWP WFP’.

Most winter fuel payments will be paid automatically so people won’t have to do anything.

However, a small number many need to make a claim, such as those who qualify but don’t receive benefits or the state pension and have never previously received a winter fuel payment. Pensioners living abroad might also be eligible depending on which country they live. Find out more here.

The one off £600 payment is designed to provide extra support to pensioners, the majority of whom are on fixed incomes and are unable to top up payments through employment.

They’re part of the government’s package to help people of all ages with soaring prices, which includes the recent £300 cost of living payment received by more than seven million households.

Pensioners getting pension credit also qualify for the winter fuel payment. The average pension credit award is around £3,900 and there’s still time to apply for it and receive the £300 cost of living payment.

Pensioners receiving pension credit can also get extra help with other living costs such as rent, council tax and heating and those over 75 also qualify for a free TV licence.

Who qualifies for the winter fuel payment?

You’ll get the winter fuel payment if you were born before 25 September 1957 and usually live in the UK.

You’ll not qualify if you:

  • Have been in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
  • Need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can’t claim public funds
  • Were in prison for the whole of the ‘qualifying week’ (18-24 Sept 2023)

If you live in a care home, you can still get the winter fuel payment. However, you won’t be eligible if both of the following apply:

  • You get pension credit, income-based Jobseekers allowance (JSA) or income related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • You lived in a care home for the whole of the ‘qualifying period’ from 26 June to 24 September 2023

If you don’t qualify for the winter fuel payment, you might still be eligible for the cold weather payment or the warm home discount scheme.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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