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DWP warning as state pensioners have just days to claim £600 Winter Fuel Payment

People of state pension age have just days to put in a claim for the £600 Winter Fuel payment.

The DWP payment, which includes a pensioner cost of living payment this year, mostly goes out automatically but some people need to put in a claim.

The deadline to put in a claim is March 31, which is Easter Sunday this year. Payments range from between £250 and £600, to help a person pay their bills.

The money will appear in bank accounts with a payment reference starting with the person’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP WFP’.

A person may need to put in a claim when they didn’t before in previous years, so it’s worth checking if you need to take action.

Pensioners are being asked to double check their bank statements for this reference number before contacting the DWP.

Who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?

People born before September 25, 1957 are eligible for a Winter Fuel PAyment for the winter period of 2023 and 2024.

Usually you need to have lived in the UK for at least one day between September 18 and September 24 2023 to make a claim although there are some instances in which you can claim while living outside the UK.

Should I have received the Winter Fuel Payment automatically?

If you claim any of these benefits you should receive the payment without making a claim:

  • 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.

Do I need to claim the Winter Fuel Payment?

The majority of pensioners will receive their payment automatically, but some people may need to claim.

If you have not had 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, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
  • You live in Switzerland or an eligible EEA country.

If you have received 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 eligible EEA country.

How to make a claim

You can put in a claim for the Winter Fuel Payment by post or over the phone.

Claim by post

Fill in a Winter Fuel Payment claim form for UK residents and send it to the Winter Fuel Payment Centre – the form and address details are on gov.uk here.

Claim over the phone

Contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 – lines are currently open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Before making the call, have to hand your National Insurance number, bank or building society details and the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate) to hand.

The DWP announced that it had already handed out £4.8billion in Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments in December.

The department said at the time that the halving of inflation meant that the Government could focus on helping people to build more secure lives for themselves and their families.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said at the time: “Today shows we have honoured our commitment to protect pensioners throughout the cold winter months by paying out £4.8bn of direct support in a matter of days.

“As well as getting this vital money to millions of pensioners, we have fulfilled our pledge to halve inflation and boosted the State Pension through the Triple Lock to ensure pensioners are supported after a lifetime of work.”

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