Second part of cost of living payment rolling out to eligible households in receipt of means tested benefits
Cost of living payments are being rolled out through the benefits system, enabling payments to be made directly to eligible households across the UK. For eligible households the £650 cost of living payment is being made in two instalments, the first payment of £326 was made in July. For those who are eligible, the second payment of £324 will be made by the end of November.
Payments are made automatically, you do not need to apply for them.
What are the relevant dates to be eligible?
To be eligible for the £324, claimants will need to have been in receipt of one of the following benefits, or have begun a claim which is later successful, for the period 26 August to 25 September 2022:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit.
When will payments be made?
These eligible households will receive the payment of £324 between the 8 and 23 November 2022.
This payment will be tax-free, will not be counted towards the benefit cap and will not impact on existing benefit awards.
What about households in receipt of Tax Credits?
There is a separate process for those not in receipt of any of the benefits above but who are in receipt of:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit.
Claimants in receipt of either of these received their first payment in September, and should receive the second instalment of £324 paid by the end of November 2022.
Summary of other measures
The £650 cost of living payment is part of a range of financial support measures announced over the last few months, some of which have already been paid to households, these include:
- People who receive disability benefit will already have received an additional one-off grant of £150.
- Pensioners who receive winter fuel payment will receive a one-off payment of £300 paid with their normal payment from November 2022.
- Every household in the UK will get £400 of support to help with increasing energy bills. Most households will receive this support via their energy suppliers as a credit applied to their account. Details of how this support will be rolled out are still to be confirmed for Northern Ireland.
- The Energy Price Guarantee reduces and puts a cap on the amount that households can be charged per unit of electricity and gas, therefore saving money compared to what the expected prices would be, up until April 2023.
- Home heating oil customers and those not served by the gas grid will receive an additional payment of £100 towards heating costs not covered by the Energy Price Guarantee.
When he was Chancellor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also committed to uprate benefits next April in line with inflation, however this has yet to be confirmed by the current Government. Doing so would offer some much needed security for lower income households in the next financial year, who this year saw benefits rise at a much lower rate than prices
To make a real difference, the Government needs to uprate benefits in line with inflation now, lift the benefit cap and two child limit, and invest in strengthening the social security system for the longer-term.
Further information is available here.
To make sure your family is claiming all the financial support you are entitled to, contact the Family Benefits Advice Service for a free, personalised ‘better off’ calculation. Freephone 0800 028 3008 or email email@example.com.