THOUSANDS of households waiting for winter fuel payments worth up to £600 should look out for a code in their bank account.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed 11.6 million payments have already been made in this year’s tranche.
All the remaining payments should land in accounts by January 13, 2023.
You should look out for a code in your bank statement proving it’s the winter fuel payment if you’ve not yet received it.
If you live in Northern Ireland it will be your National Insurance number followed by “DFC WFP”.
What is the winter fuel payment?
The winter fuel payment is designed to help pensioners pay for their energy bills over the winter.
This is typically when households use more energy due to the colder weather.
Payments last year were worth between £100 and £300.
However, this year all pensioners eligible for the payment are receiving an extra £150 to £300 cost of living payment on top.
That means depending on your circumstances you could receive up to £600 in free cash.
But you may get less than this – the minimum you can get is £250.
You’ll qualify for a winter fuel payment if both of the following apply:
- you were born on or before September 25, 1956
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 19 to 25, 2022, in what is known as the “qualifying week”
If you did not live in the UK during the qualifying week, you might still get the payment if both the following apply:
- you live in Switzerland or a EEA country
- you have a “genuine and sufficient” link with the UK social security system, such as having lived or worked in the UK and having a family in the UK
But there are exclusions – you can’t get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain.
This is because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
You will also not qualify if you:
- are in hospital getting free treatment for more than a year
- need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave states that you can not claim public funds
- were in prison for the whole “qualifying week”
- lived in a care home for the whole time between 28 June to 26 September 2021, and got Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Do I need to apply for the payment?
Most people eligible for the winter fuel payment get it automatically.
You won’t need to make a claim if you receive any of the following:
- State Pension
- Pension Credit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Carers Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- awards from the War Pensions Scheme
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Industrial Death Benefit
If you do not receive any of the above, you’ll need to claim if either of the following apply:
- you’ve not got the winter fuel payment before
- you’ve deferred your state pension since your last winter fuel payment
You can claim by phone on 0800 731 0160 or post.
If you’re claiming by phone you’ll need to have your National Insurance number, bank or building society details and the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if you need to meet this criteria).
If it’s by post, you have to go on the government’s website and fill in a form and post it to Winter Fuel Payment Centre, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LR.
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