Payments of up to £600 are landing directly in the bank accounts of around 11.5 million UK pensioners for the second year running.

  • Comes as part of extensive Government package helping people of all ages, including recent £300 Cost of Living payments to more than seven million eligible households.
  • After meeting our pledge to halve inflation, the Government this week also confirmed an 8.5 percent increase to the State Pension next year.

Pensioners across the country have started to receive up to £600 to help with energy bills this winter.

Winter Fuel Payments – boosted again this year by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment – will land in bank accounts over the next two months, the vast majority automatically.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:

We have delivered on our promise to halve inflation and will continue to support people right across the country, including pensioners who may be facing particular challenges over the colder months.

As well as up to £600 to help our pensioners stay warm this winter, we’re boosting pensions through the Triple Lock – increasing the full rate of the New State Pension by over £900 next year.

The money will appear in bank statements with the payment reference starting with the customer’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.

The overwhelming majority of Winter Fuel Payments are paid automatically but some people need to make a claim, such as those who qualify but do not receive benefits or the State Pension and have never previously received a Winter Fuel Payment. The payments deliver additional support to pensioners, the majority of whom are on fixed incomes and also are unable to raise their incomes through fixed employment.

The start of the Winter Fuel Payments season comes hot on the heels of the recent £300 Cost of Living payments made by the DWP to more than seven million eligible households across the UK.

This latest payment is the second of up to three Cost of Living Payments being made this financial year. These payments – which are all tax-free and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards – demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting low-income families with financial pressures.

Pensioners getting Pension Credit also qualify for this extra support. The average Pension Credit award is now worth £3,900 per year and there is still time for those who are eligible to apply and receive the £300 Cost of Living payment. 

This is because an eligible claim for Pension Credit can be backdated by three months provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.

Including measures announced in the Autumn Statement this week, our total commitment to ease cost of living pressures has risen to £104 billion. That includes paying around half the cost of the average energy bill since last October and amounts to an average of £3,700 per household.


  • The Cost of Living Payments, spread across 2023/24, are worth up to £900 for those on means-tested benefits. More information on the Cost of Living Payments can be found here: £2.2 billion in Cost of Living Payments paid by DWP over the last eight days – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • More information to help pensioners work out how much they will receive is available on GOV.UK: Winter Fuel Payment: How much you’ll get – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Most Pensioner Cost of Living Payments are made automatically in November or December and should be received by 26 January 2024.
  • 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 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
  • 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.
  • Pension Credit tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners or £306.85 for couples.
  • People receiving any amount of Pension Credit can also get help with other costs including rent (via Housing Benefit), council tax and heating. Those over 75 qualify for a free TV licence.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

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