MILLIONS of pensioners will start receiving a cost of living payment worth up to £600 in their bank accounts from today.
Over eight million households will get the cash paid directly into their bank account to help them with the cost of living.
The cash support is made up of the Winter Fuel Payment and pensioner cost of living payment combined.
The Winter Fuel Payment is usually worth between £100 and £300 and is paid to all those over the state pension age.
But to help support millions struggling with increased energy bills, an extra £300 per household is being paid on top this year.
Pensioners should start receiving the payment from today, and there's a specific code they should look out for in their bank account.
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The money will appear in bank statements with the person's National Insurance (NI) number followed by "DWP WFP" for those in Great Britain or "DFC WFP" for those eligible and living in Northern Ireland.
Not all eligible pensioners will receive the up to £600 payment today though.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said most payments are made automatically in November or December and should be received by January 13, 2023.
If you've not received your payment by then you should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
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Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions 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."
Who is eligible for the payment?
You'll receive an extra £300 per household if you normally get the Winter Fuel Payment.
You receive the Winter Fuel Payment if:
- you were born on or before September 25, 1956
- you live in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in the "qualifying week"
If you live in Switzerland or another European Economic Area country in that period.
The same applies if you can prove you have a sufficient link with the UK, like having worked or lived here, or have family here but were not living here in the qualifying week.
You won't get the payment if you live in the following countries though because of the warm weather there: Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.
Nor will you get the payment if you are in hospital for more than a year getting free treatment and in some other circumstances.
You can find more about who is eligible on gov.uk.
How much could I get?
Because the £300 is being made on top of what Winter Fuel Allowance you get, you might not get the full £600.
That's because you receive £100 to £300 in Winter Fuel Payments depending on your circumstances.
The below is what you'll get in total depending on your circumstances:
- You qualify and live alone – £500 to £600
- You qualify alongside someone you live with who is under 80 and also qualifies – £250 to £350
- You qualify and live with someone over 80 who also qualifies – £250 to £300
- If either you or your partner also receives benefits – £500 to £600 (this amount is the same if someone you live with who isn't your partner receives certain benefits)
- If you qualify but live in a care home and don't get benefits – £250 to £300
The overwhelming majority of pensioners will receive their payment automatically, but some people need to claim.
For example, if you haven't got a Winter Fuel Payment previously, you'll 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 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 EEA country
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