Cost of living: Homeowner reveals she is having to sell her house
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Some 11.6 million pensioners will receive up to £600 to help pay their energy bills during November and December. While the money will start to be paid from today, it could take a few weeks for all Winter Fuel Payments to be made but everyone who is eligible should receive the money by January 13, 2023 at the latest.
From today more than 11.6 million pensioners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will start to receive payments of up to £600 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with their energy bills this winter.
Winter Fuel Payments – boosted this year by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment – will land in people’s bank accounts over the next two months, the vast majority automatically.
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 providing all pensioner households with an additional £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 in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.
The overwhelming majority of Winter Fuel Payments are paid automatically but some people may need to make a claim if they qualify but do not receive benefits or the State Pension and have never previously received a Winter Fuel Payment.
Anyone who doesn’t receive the £600 Winter Fuel Payment by January 13, 2023 should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre if they think they should qualify.
This comes on the back of the cost of living payments of £324 which have already been made to low-income households including those on Pension Credit as part of this Government’s cost of living support.
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Some 850,000 pensioners are missing out on Pension Credit which is worth over £3,500 a year – eligible pensioners still have time to apply which would also mean they qualify for the additional £324 cost of living support payment.
Pension Credit claims can be backdated by up to three months, so to ensure a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for an extra £324 cost of living help, pensioners are being urged to claim Pension Credit no later than December 18.
There is a handy online Pension Credit calculator on Gov.UK where pensioners can check eligibility.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his Autumn Statement there will be further cost of living support on its way to cash-strapped Britons next year including a further £300 for pensioners, £900 for households on means-tested benefits and £150 for those on disability benefits.
The state pension will rise in line with September’s inflation figure of 10.1 percent next April but not all pensioners will benefit.
The basic state pension paid to people who have reached the state pension age before 2016 will increase to £156 per week or £8,122 a year from April 2023.
The new state pension will increase to £204 each week, or £10,600 annually.
However, between 200,000 to 250,000 expats who live abroad won’t see an increase to pay packets unless they live in the US or European Union.
A cross-party group of MPs are calling on the Government to rethink its frozen pensions policy for British pensioners living abroad.
In a letter to the Government, they said: “The unfair postcode lottery has to stop – we believe that all UK pensioners deserve their full state pension no matter where they happen to live.”
In response, a spokesman for the DWP said: “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and we provide clear information about how this can impact on their finances.
“The Government’s policy on the uprating of the UK State Pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to update state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”
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