The UK Government has announced that millions of the country’s poorest households will start receiving the first third of their £900 cost of living payment from April 25th, 2023. Here’s everything you need to know about who qualifies for this payment and when it will be delivered.
The £900 grant will be given in three installments of slightly different amounts, and all payments will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not affect your existing benefits. The first payment of £301 will start hitting bank accounts from April 25th, 2023, with most payments being made by May 17th, 2023. However, if you only claim child tax credit or working tax credit, your payment will come “shortly after” the others.
To be eligible for the £301 payment, you need to have been paid (or eligible for payment of) one of the benefits listed below for any day between January 26th, 2023 and February 25th, 2023. This means that you may be eligible for this new payment even if you didn’t receive last year’s £650 payment. However, some people on universal credit may miss out because of how the eligibility period falls in relation to their assessment period and pay frequency.
The cost of living payment is available to those who are entitled to any of the following:
- Child tax credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Pension credit
- Universal credit (unless your universal credit was reduced to £0 for the entire period between January 26th and February 25th, 2023)
- Working tax credit
If you qualify for these cost of living payments, you don’t need to apply. You’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually receive your benefits or tax credits. Be cautious of texts or emails inviting you to apply for the payment, as they may be scams. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will never ask you for personal details or banking information over text or email. If the DWP later finds that you weren’t eligible for the payment, you may have to repay it.
There are three different cost of living payments available in 2023/24, and depending on your personal circumstances, you may be eligible for one, two, or all three. This means that some people will receive a total of £1,350. If you’re one of the eight million households that receive means-tested benefits, you could get up to £900 in cost of living payments paid out in three installments.
- £301 – from April 25th, 2023
- £300 – during autumn 2023 (payment and eligibility dates yet to be confirmed)
- £299 – during spring 2024 (payment and eligibility dates yet to be confirmed)
Each payment is slightly different to make it easier for the DWP and HM Revenue & Customs to track whether you’ve been paid the right amount at the correct time.
If you claim certain disability benefits, you’ll get a one-off payment of £150 paid in summer 2023. You can get this on top of the up to £900 means-tested cost of living payment and/or the £300 pensioner payment. This payment is available to those on the following benefits, but the exact payment and eligibility dates have not yet been announced:
- Adult disability payment (in Scotland)
- Armed forces independence payment
- Attendance allowance
- Child disability payment (in Scotland)
- Constant attendance allowance
- Disability living allowance
- Personal independence payment
- War pension mobility supplement
If you’re above state pension age, you’ll get a £300 top-up if you’re entitled to the winter fuel payment. The cost of living payments are part of the UK government’s efforts to provide financial support to those who have been hit hardest by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With rising costs of food, fuel, and other essentials, many households have found it difficult to make ends meet, particularly those who are on low incomes or who are living with disabilities.
The £900 cost of living payment for those on low-income benefits will be a welcome relief to many families, who will receive the money automatically without having to apply. The payment will be delivered in three instalments of slightly different amounts, with the first payment of £301 due to arrive in bank accounts from 25 April 2023.
To be eligible for the cost of living payment, you must be entitled to one of the qualifying benefits listed above for any day between 26 January 2023 and 25 February 2023. This means that even if you didn’t receive last year’s £650 payment, you may still be eligible for this year’s payment.
However, there are concerns that some people on universal credit may miss out on the payment due to the way the eligibility period falls in relation to their assessment period and pay frequency. The government has acknowledged this issue and is investigating further to ensure that those who are entitled to the payment do not miss out.
It is important to be aware of scammers who may try to trick you into giving them personal information or banking details in relation to the cost of living payments. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that it will never ask you for this information over text or email. If you receive a text or email inviting you to claim or apply for the payment, it is likely to be a scam.
In addition to the cost of living payments for those on low-income benefits, there are also payments available for people with disabilities and pensioners. Those who receive certain disability benefits will be eligible for a one-off payment of £150, which will be paid in summer 2023. Pensioners who are entitled to the winter fuel payment and are above state pension age will receive a top-up of £300 in winter 2023/24.
Overall, the cost of living payments are an important lifeline for those who are struggling to make ends meet in these challenging times. If you are eligible for the payments, you do not need to apply – the money will be paid to you automatically. However, it is important to be vigilant for scams and to ensure that you are aware of the eligibility criteria for each payment.
Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.
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