The next of the government’s Cost of Living Payments, worth £299, will be landing with those eligible for it between February 6th and 22nd.
Cost of Living Payments are designed to help those most in need with the rising cost of goods and services. We’re looking at who’s eligible to receive this payment, how to claim it, and what to do if you need more help with the cost of living.
This information applies to England, Scotland and Wales. Separate guidance is available on Cost of Living Payments in Northern Ireland.
This Cost of Living Payment is for those on low income benefits or tax credits
The government has split the Cost of Living help they’re providing into three categories:
- Low income benefits (e.g. Universal Credit) and tax credits Cost of Living Payments
- Disability Cost of Living Payments
- Pensioner Cost of Living Payments
This Cost of Living Payment is for people in the first category. There will be no separate Disability or Pensioner Cost of Living Payments this time.
You may be eligible even if you haven’t received previous Cost of Living Payments
You will be eligible for this Cost of Living Payment if you received a payment of any of these benefits during the assessment window, which was November 13th to December 12th 2023.
- Universal Credit
- Income-based JSA
- Income-related ESA
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Tax credits
This means that you may be eligible to receive this Cost of Living Payment even if you weren’t eligible for previous Cost of Living Payments. For example, if you’ve only recently started claiming benefits.
It’s worth noting that you’re not eligible to receive Cost of Living Payments if you only receive New Style ESA, contributory ESA or New Style JSA.
The payment will be made to you automatically – there’s no need to claim
If you’re eligible to receive this Cost of Living Payment, it’ll be paid to you automatically. There’s no need to apply for this payment.
If you receive a benefit like Universal Credit, the payment will come from the DWP. If you receive tax credits, it’ll come from HMRC. If you receive both benefits and tax credits, then in most cases the payment will come from the DWP.
Payments will be made between February 6th and 22nd
This time, payments will be made between February 6th and 22nd for most people. If you only receive tax credits, then you will receive your payment towards the end of this window – between February16th and 22nd.
The money will be paid separately to your benefits or tax credits payments. But, it’ll be sent to the same bank account as you usually receive your payments in. Bear in mind that if you’re in the process of changing the bank account your benefits or tax credits are paid into, this could make your Cost of Living Payment late.
If you’ve not received a payment you were expecting, you can report it missing
If you think you were eligible for past Cost of Living Payments but haven’t received them, then the first thing to do is to check your bank statement to make sure. Previous Cost of Living Payments were paid as follows:
- Payment one was for £301 and was paid between April 25th and May 17th 2023
- Payment two was for £300 and was paid between October 31st and November 19th 2023
- Disability Cost of Living Payment was for £150 and was paid between June 20th and July 4th 2023
- Pensioner Cost of Living Payment was for between £150 and £300 and paid as part of the Winter Fuel Payment in November 2023
If you changed bank account around the time your missing payment was due, it may be worth checking statements for both your old and new accounts.
Once you’re certain you haven’t received the money, you can report it missing online through the government website. You’ll need your National Insurance number to hand.
If you’re eligible for, but don’t receive the February 2024 Cost of Living Payment, then you’ll be able to report it missing from February 23rd 2024.
This is the last Cost of Living Payment, but more help is available
This payment is the last Cost of Living Payment that the government will make under this scheme. It brings the total amount eligible households have received to £900 during the 2023/24 financial year. But the cost of living crisis is far from over.
If you still need help with your living costs, then there are options available to you. Many benefits and the State Pension will be rising in April 2024, which may help to ease some of the pressure you’re facing.
Local councils also have their own schemes and funds to provide cost of living assistance. You can use the government’s website to find your local council and see what’s available in your area.
You may also be able to get help with energy bills from your provider. The options include exploring other tariffs, repayment plans, and putting you in touch with providers of grants and schemes. Speak to your provider to see what they can do for you.
Finally, if you’re struggling financially, then free, unbiased debt advice could help you work out what to do. You can get this from:
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