Pensioners are starting to receive up to £600 from the government to help with utility bills |  Political news

Pensioners are starting to receive up to £600 from the government to help with utility bills | Political news

Pensioners will receive up to £600 in their bank account from today to help with their energy bills.

More than 11.6 million retirees will receive the Winter Fuel Surcharge in the next two months.

This year’s payments have been increased by an additional payment of £300 per household towards living expenses for pensioners.

The vast majority of payments will be automatic and anyone who has not received payment by January 13 should contact the government’s Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

Work and Pensions Minister Mel Stride said ministers want to do “all we can to support pensioners, who are often 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 keep them warm this winter,” he said.

“This additional payment is just one part of the broader support package we are delivering to help with rising bills, including the largest increase in state pensions in history.”

The payment is shown with a reference that starts with the person’s National Insurance number, followed by ‘DWP WFP’ for people in Great Britain, or ‘DFC WFP’ for people in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, families claiming inheritance benefits such as tax credits should also receive their second cost of living payments from today.

It will be paid automatically between today and next Wednesday as part of the government’s £37bn cost-of-living package.

The payment of £324, the latest installment of the £650 announced by Rishi Sunak earlier this year, has already been paid out to most Universal Credit claimants since November 8.

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How to save money on energy bills

More than seven million payments of £324 have been made, including to pensioners receiving pension credit.

The average pension award is worth more than £3,500 a year, and for those who have yet to apply, there is still time as claims can be made retroactively for up to three months.

To ensure that a claim falls within the waiting period, retirees are urged to apply as soon as possible and no later than 18 December.

An online retirement loan calculator is available to check your eligibility and get an estimate of likely benefits.

Now it’s the turn of those who haven’t switched to Universal Credit yet.

HMRC’s Angela MacDonald said: “This second cost-of-living payment will provide further financial support for eligible tax credits in the UK.

“The £324 will automatically be deposited into bank accounts, so people don’t have to do anything to receive this extra help.”

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Hunt to keep pensions triple lock

With this payment, more than eight million households received a financial boost on 30 November.

In July and September, the first payments were made to eligible families.

Further support in living expenses, due next year, was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his recent fall statement.

It includes a further £300 for pensioners, £900 for households on means tested benefits and £150 for those on disability benefits.

It was also confirmed that retirees will get an increase in the state pension of 10.1% from April, after Mr Hunt confirmed that the triple lock was protected.

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

For those on the old basic pension, who reached retirement age before April 2016, this means an increase from £141.85 to £156.20.

The triple lock is normally used to calculate the increase in state pension, but was temporarily suspended due to the disruptive impact of the pandemic.

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