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Dates confirmed for up to £600 Cost of Living payments for Moray pensioners

By Lewis McBlane

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COST of living payments of up to £600 will be paid directly to more than one million pensioners in Scotland, for the second year running, in the coming months.

This year's Winter Fuel Payments and Cost of Living Payments have been announced, with a final date that elderly people should expect to receive theirs by.
This year's Winter Fuel Payments and Cost of Living Payments have been announced, with a final date that elderly people should expect to receive theirs by.

Pensioners across Scotland have started to receive up to £600 to help with energy bills this winter..

Winter Fuel Payments – boosted again this year by an additional £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment – will land in bank accounts over the next two months, the vast majority automatically.

The Cost of Living Payments payments are spread across 2023 and 2024, with a maximum figure of £900 for those on means-tested benefits.

Most of the grants are made in November or December – and should be received by January 26, 2024.

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) urged anybody who has not received a payment by that date to contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

The money will appear in bank statements with the payment reference starting with the customer’s National Insurance number followed by "DWP WFP".

The payments deliver additional support to pensioners, the majority of whom are on fixed incomes and are unable to raise their incomes through fixed employment.

Pensioners getting Pension Credit also qualify for this extra support. The average Pension Credit award is now worth £3900 per year and there is still time for those who are eligible to apply and receive the £300 Cost of Living payment.

This is because an eligible claim for Pension Credit can be backdated by three months provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont, who earlier this week met Moray MP Douglas Ross in Forres, said: "The UK Government is committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our society and this payment of up to £600 for pensioners will be very welcome as we move into the colder months.

"This is in addition to the £900 increase in the state pension confirmed earlier this week."

The DWP spokesperson also set out whether those eligble need to apply for the grant, or should receive it automatically.

Elderly people who have not received a Winter Fuel Payment in the past only need to claim if they do not get benefits or the State Pension – or the only benefit they receive is Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit.

Finally, those who have not received a previous payment but live in Switzerland or an EEA country must apply for the grant.

Those who have previously received a Winter Fuel Payment before, will not need to claim unless they have deferred their State Pension since their last payout or have moved to Switzerland or an EEA country.

Winter Fuel Payments can be claimed by phone or by post. Further information about claiming can be found here.

For more information on Pension Credit, to use the free online calculator, to check eligibility or to claim, click here, or call 0800 99 1234.

Pension Credit tops up a person's income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners or £306.85 for couples.

People receiving any amount of Pension Credit can also get help with other costs including rent (via Housing Benefit), council tax and heating.

Those over 75 qualify for a free TV licence.

UK Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We have delivered on our promise to halve inflation and will continue to support people right across Scotland, including pensioners who may be facing particular challenges over the colder months.

“As well as up to £600 to help our pensioners stay warm this winter, we’re boosting pensions through the Triple Lock – increasing the full rate of the New State Pension by over £900 next year.”

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