Over 11.6 million pensioners will start to receive payments of up to £600, to help with their energy bills this winter. The Pensioner Cost of Living payment is a top up to regular Winter Fuel Payments of an additional £300 per household. It is paid by the Government and will appear in bank accounts over the next two months.

The majority of Winter Fuel Payments and the Cost of Living top up are paid automatically. However, some people will 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 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.

Pensioners can also check the Pension Credit calculator to see if they’re eligible for the benefit worth an average £3,500 a year. We urge people to apply as soon as possible, and by no later than 18th December to ensure they qualify for the assessment for an extra £324 cost of living help.