Cost of living: Millions to receive next payment worth hundreds of pounds

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 17: Britainâs Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves No 11 Downing Street, London, Britain, on November 17, 2022, for Parliament to delivery his autumn statement in House of Commons. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Jeremy Hunt delivered the autumn statement last month. (Getty Images)

The next stage of cost of living payments will take place from today with more than 11.6 million pensioners starting to receive up to £600 to help with their energy bills this winter.

Winter Fuel Payments have been boosted this year by an additional £300 per household "Pensioner Cost of Living" payment. The money will land in bank accounts over the next two months and most of the payments will be paid automatically.

There is no need for people to apply or do anything to receive it – so people should watch out for texts or emails from scammers inviting them to make applications.

A further one million families eligible for a support payment of £324 solely through tax credits will receive the money from today.

Winter Fuel Payment - details

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 living in England, Scotland and Wales, or “DFC WFP” for people in Northern Ireland.

While most payments will be automatic in November or December, some people may 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 DWP said.

Those who do not receive a payment by January 13, 2023, should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre, the DWP said.

Support for low-income families

Over seven million payments of £324 have already been promised to low-income households this month as part of this Government’s cost of living support.

All payments should have been made by 23 November, with the government committed to processing any outstanding claims as quickly as possible.

Eligible households receiving tax credits - and no other means-tested benefits - will get their second cost-of-living payment from today and should receive it by 30 November.

This includes pensioners receiving Pension Credit. The average Pension Credit award is worth more than £3,500 a year, and for those pensioners who may be eligible but are yet to make an application, there is still time to do so and qualify for the additional £324 payment.

This is because Pension Credit claims can be backdated by up to three months, provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.

To ensure that a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for the extra £324 cost-of-living help, pensioners are being urged to claim Pension Credit as soon as possible, and by no later than December 18.

Autumn statement

Further cost-of-living support to be paid next year was announced by Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement last week.

Payments will include a further £300 for pensioners, £900 for households on means-tested benefits and £150 for those on disability benefits.