If you already claim certain benefits, there is a chance you may still be eligible for some of the government’s Cost of Living Payment plans for 2023/24. The following article explains what these payments are, their eligibility requirements, and how you’ll receive them.
What are cost of living payments?
Cost of living payments are additional funds designed to keep up with the current rising costs of goods and services.
Over time, prices of products and amenities like food, rent, and electricity tend to go up. If people’s income does not increase at a similar rate, their ability to afford these necessities reduces, which can lead to problems for many.
For this reason, the government provides cost of living payments to those most in need with the aim of preventing such issues.
You will likely be aware of the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme which began in October 2022. This was when the majority of UK households received their first of six instalments (totalling £400) to assist with the increased cost of energy prices.
As of March 2023, the Energy Bills Support Scheme came to an end for most; however, there is still a large proportion of the UK (approximately eight million families) who will receive assistance in other ways.
What types of payments are available?
The government has announced further cost of living payments, which are to be paid throughout the course of 2023 and 2024 to people that fall into certain criteria.
They are split into three categories:
- Low Income Benefits and Tax Credits Cost of Living Payment
- Disability Cost of Living Payment
- Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
How much would I get?
The Low Income Benefits and Tax Credits Cost of Living Payment is split over three payments, the first of which is £301. The government plans to pay a further £300, followed by a £299 payment in spring of next year, but they have not yet confirmed the eligibility period for these.
The Disability Cost of Living Payment will be £150 for those eligible.
The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be either £150 or £300 depending on circumstances which the government has yet to disclose.
When would I get paid?
If you are entitled to the Low Income Benefits and Tax Credits Cost of Living Payment, the first instalment will be paid between 25th April 2023 and 17th May 2023 for most people on DWP payments. If on tax credits and no other low income benefits, this would be paid between 2nd and 9th May 2023. The second will be paid during the autumn of this year, and the third in the following spring months.
Although yet to be confirmed, if eligible for the Disability Cost of Living Payment, you will receive it in the summer of 2023.
The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid from November 2023, and a letter will be sent to you in October beforehand detailing your entitlement.
What do I need to do to receive the funds?
You do not need to do anything in order to get these cost of living payments.
Your status is assessed automatically based on the information the government hold about you and payments will be made directly to you in the same way your other benefits appear.
If after the due dates, you believe you are eligible and have not received payments or a notification as to why, you can use the government’s website to contact the relevant department.
Given the nature of these payments, remember to remain vigilant for potential scams. You should not need to be contacted to apply or provide your details; so if this is the case, liaise directly with the appropriate department through the government’s website.
Will they affect my other benefits?
Cost of living payments are not taxable, nor are they included as a form of income. This means that receiving them will not affect your ability to receive another income-related benefits.
Am I eligible for cost of living payments?
You may qualify for the Low Income Benefits and Tax Credits Cost of Living Payment if you were eligible for any of the below benefits between the period of 26th January 2023 and 25th February 2023:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
You could receive the Disability Cost of Living Payment if you are eligible for any of the following benefits, although the government is yet to confirm the qualifying period:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid as an additional sum to those in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment. To be eligible for this, you would need to have been born before 25th September 1957.
Additional cost of living resources
If you’d like to learn more about the cost of living assistance available, or want to seek help, you may find the below links useful:
- UK Government - Cost of living support
- Money Wellness – Financial support and money saving tips
- StepChange – Non-profit debt experts
- Citizens Advice – Free confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person
- Age UK – Partnership of independent charities focusing on help for the elderly
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