Wales pensioners will start receiving increased winter fuel payments

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Photo Peter Byrne. PA pictures

Pensioners in Wales will start receiving up to £600 to help pay their energy bills this winter from today.

Winter fuel payments, which were boosted this year by an extra £300 per household payment for pensioners’ cost of living, will land in bank accounts over the next two months.

Households on eligible benefits can also apply for a one-time cash payment of £200 from their local authority, through a separate Welsh Government scheme.

The vast majority of payments from today will be made automatically, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride 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 giving all retired households an extra £300 on top of their winter fuel payments to heat their homes and stay warm this winter.”

The money will appear on bank statements with the payment reference starting with the customer’s national insurance number followed by “DWP WFP” for people living in Wales.

While most payments will be automatic in November or December, some people may need to make a claim, such as those who are eligible but are not receiving benefits or a state pension and have never previously received a payment for winter fuel, the DWP said.

Those who do not receive payment by Jan. 13, 2023 should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Center, the DWP said.

Means-tested

More than seven million payments of £324 have already been made this month to low-income households as part of this government’s cost of living support.

This includes retirees receiving pension credit.

The average Pension Credit award is worth over £3,500 a year, and for pensioners who may be eligible but have not yet applied, there is still time to do so and qualify for payment. additional £324.

Indeed, claims for pension credit can be backdated up to three months, provided that the eligibility requirements are met throughout this period.

To ensure a successful backdated claim falls within the qualification period for the additional £324 cost of living assistance, pensioners are advised to claim the pension credit as soon as possible, and no later than 18 december.

An online pension credit calculator is available to help retirees check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they might receive.

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

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

Welsh Government Winter Fuel Scheme

It was also confirmed in the autumn statement that pensioners will be heading for a 10.1% increase in the state pension from next April, after Mr Hunt confirmed that the triple pension lock was protected.

The new state full pension is currently £185.15 a week, so a 10.1% increase would take that figure to £203.85.

For people on the old full state basic pension, who reached retirement age before April 2016, the increase means a weekly increase from £141.85 to £156.20.

The triple lockdown is normally used to calculate the state pension increase, but it has been temporarily suspended due to the distorting effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

People should also watch out for fake text messages and emails from scammers claiming to offer cost-of-living payments, who may try to trick them into handing over personal information.


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