From the end of last month, over 11.6 million pensioners across the United Kingdom will start to receive payments of up to £600 to help with their energy bills this winter.
The Winter Fuel Payments- boosted this year by an additional Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of £300 for each household- will reach people over the next two months and in most cases will be sent to bank accounts automatically.
Pension Credit provides a vital “top up” for some of the most vulnerable pensioners- worth more than £3,500 on average. Although take-up is at the highest level since 2010 and around 1.4 million pensioners currently receive it, there are many pensioners who are eligible who are missing out.
Even a small award of Pension Credit can open up additional other help and support, such as help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills, a free over-75s TV licence and most importantly additional cost of living payments.
It is not too late for pensioners to qualify for the second Cost of Living Payment of £324 as a claim for Pension Credit can be backdated for up to three months, provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout this time. To ensure that a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for the second Cost of Living payment, the Department for Work and Pensions are urging people to claim Pension Credit as soon as possible but by no later than 18th December.
You can call 0800 991234 where someone can help with the application or visit: Pension Credit: How to claim - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you are a pensioner (or have a family member who is a pensioner) and unsure as to whether you are eligible or not then I would encourage you to speak to our local Citizens Advice team. They can be contacted using the following telephone number: 0808 278 7969
Finally, if you are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and haven’t received it by 13th January 2023 then please contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160.