Pensioners will start receiving up to £600 in their bank accounts from today to help pay their energy bills.
More than 11.6 million retirees will receive the Winter Fuel Payment over the next two months.
This year’s payments have been boosted by an additional payment of £300 per household for the cost of living for pensioners.
The vast majority of payments will be automatic, and anyone who hasn’t received theirs by January 13 should contact the government’s winter fuel payment centre.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said ministers ‘want to do everything possible to support pensioners, who are often the 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 stay warm this winter,” he said.
“This additional payment is just part of the wider support package we are offering to help cope with rising bills, including the largest increase in state pensions in history.”
The payment will appear with a reference starting 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 inherited benefits like tax credits are also expected to start receiving their second Cost of life payments from today.
It will be paid automatically between now and next Wednesday as part of the government’s £37billion cost of living scheme.
The £324 payment, the final part of the £650 announced by Rishi Sunak earlier this year, has already been paid out to most Universal Credit applicants since November 8.
More than seven million payments of £324 have been made, including to pensioners receiving pension credit.
The average pension credit award is worth over £3,500 a year, and for those who haven’t made a claim yet, there’s still time as claims can be backdated by up to three months.
To ensure that an application falls within the reference period, retirees are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible, and no later than December 18.
An online pension credit calculator is available to help verify eligibility and get an estimate of likely awards.
Now it’s the turn of those who have not yet transferred to Universal Credit.
HMRC’s Angela MacDonald said: “This second cost of living payment will provide additional financial support to tax credit-only claimants across the UK.
“The £324 will automatically be paid into bank accounts, so people don’t have to do anything to receive this extra help.”
With this payment, more than eight million households will have received a cash boost by November 30.
The first payments were made to eligible families in July and September.
Additional cost of living support, to be paid next year, was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his recent fall statement.
It includes an additional £300 for pensioners, £900 for households on means-tested benefits and £150 for those on disability benefits.
It has also been confirmed that retirees will get a 10.1% increase in the state pension from April, after Mr Hunt confirmed the triple lock was protected.
The new full state pension is currently £185.15 a week, so a 10.1% increase would take it to £203.85.
For people on the old state basic pension, who reached retirement age before April 2016, this means an increase from £141.85 to £156.20.
The triple lockdown is normally used to calculate the state pension increase, but has been temporarily suspended due to the distorting impact of the pandemic.