New Cost of Living Payments a Welcome Relief

In an effort to cushion the impact of rising bills, millions of low-income households in the UK are about to receive much-needed financial relief in the form of cost-of-living payments. As inflation looms, these payments will be a lifeline for those needing it most.

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What are 'Cost of Living' Payments?

Cost of living payments are a government initiative to provide financial support to vulnerable individuals and families facing the harsh reality of increasing living expenses. The UK government designed these payments to help offset the rising costs of essential goods and services, such as food, energy and housing.

Who Qualifies?

Financial support is not limited to a small group of the population, but there are criteria. To qualify, you must already be entitled to universal credit, jobseeker’s allowance, income support, working tax credit, child tax credit or pension credit.

For most recipients, the payments will be made directly into the same bank account used to receive benefits and will be noticeable by your National Insurance number in the reference.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: "The best way we can boost bank balances is by bearing down on inflation, but as we get there, we are ensuring the most vulnerable households are cushioned from high prices with a further cost of living payment."

Standard benefits and pension payments will be made as usual in October without any changes due to this new support.

How Much Will You Receive and When Will it Arrive?

Although PM Rishi Sunak’s Energy Bill Support Scheme ended in March, millions of low-income households will still receive Government assistance for the cost of living, amounting to a maximum of £1,350 for the entire calendar year.

If eligible, you'll receive your cost of living payments in three £300 instalments, totalling £900. This financial assistance is sure to boost household budgets for those struggling with an escalating cost of living.

You'll subsequently receive the second instalment between 31st October and 19th November. People with disabilities received £150 during the summer, and over eight million OAPs will receive an extra £300 during the winter.

  • £301 – First cost of living payment – Paid between 25th April and 17th May 2023

  • £150 – Disability payment – Paid between 20th June and 4th July 2023

  • £300 – Second cost of living payment – Paid in autumn 2023

  • £300 – Pensioner payment – Paid in winter 2023/24

  • £299 – Third cost of living payment – Paid in spring 2024

If you believe you qualify for the cost of living payments but don’t receive them, it’s important to make sure you get the support you deserve. Pensioners on low incomes are encouraged to check their eligibility for pension credit, as this will then make them eligible for the cost of living payments. You can also backdate pension credits.

For those who qualify via tax credits, HMRC will make payments between 10th November and 19th November with the reference ‘HMRC COLS’.

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