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Pensioners expecting a winter cost of living payment should now have received theirs – here's what to do if you haven't 

Nearly 12 million pensioners should have received their £150 or £300 cost of living payment by today, the Government has said. The non-repayable grants were paid as part of the existing Winter Fuel Payments scheme starting in November last year. Here's what to do if you think you're due the payment but haven't yet got it.

Winter Fuel Payments are an annual benefit paid to every UK household with someone over state pension age (aged 66 or above), to help with energy costs.

The payments are usually between £100 and £300, but in 2022, the Government's cost of living support package included a one-off top-up of up to £300 per household to the winter fuel payment, so some have been paid up to £600.

If you're struggling with the cost of living crisis, see our cost of living survival guide, which is full of useful tips on how to cut costs.

First, check if you should've gotten an automatic payment or if you need to apply

You can get the winter fuel payment and cost of living top-up – worth up to £600 depending on your circumstances – if you were born on or before 25 September 1956 and you were living in the UK during the qualifying week of 19 to 25 September 2022.

The "overwhelming majority" of winter fuel payments are made automatically and all those eligible for automatic payments should now have received the cash, according to the Government. This includes those aged 66 or over who get any of the following:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Awards from the War Pensions Scheme
  • Carers allowance
  • Disability living allowance (DLA)
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Industrial death benefit
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Pension credit
  • Personal independence payment (PIP)
  • State pension

If you don't get ANY of these and haven't had the winter fuel payment before, you'll need to apply. You can do this by:

  • Calling the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160. Make sure you have the following information to hand: your National Insurance number, your bank or building society details and the date you were married or entered into a civil partnership (if appropriate).

  • Filling in a claim form. Once complete, you need to post the form to: Winter Fuel Payment Centre, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LR.

For winter 2022/23, you need to apply before 31 March 2023. The Government has confirmed to us that those who apply before this deadline will get the full winter fuel payment amount, including the cost of living top-up.

Due an automatic payment? Check your bank statement to see if you've got it – and if not, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre

If you were eligible for an automatic payment, it will have been sent directly to your bank account with the following payment reference details:

  • In England, Scotland and Wales: Look for your National Insurance number, followed by 'DWP WFP'.
  • In Northern Ireland: Look for your National Insurance number, followed by 'DFC WFP'.

Payments started in November last year and continued throughout December – so make sure to check these statements as well as your January one. 

Some 11.6 million pensioners – over 99% of those eligible – had already gotten their automatic payments by 20 December 2022, according to the latest official figures from the Government.

If you think you should've gotten an automatic payment but can't see it in your account, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160 or using its online form

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