The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that around eight million households on low incomes will receive cost-of-living support worth up to £1,350 from this spring. Exact payment windows and qualifying periods for eligibility will be announced in due course, but are designed to ensure a consistent support offer throughout the year.
There will be £900 cash support for over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants, including people on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.
This starts in the spring and will go directly to bank accounts in three payments, the DWP said.
The £900 payment will be made up of three slightly different amounts, relating to specific qualifying periods, making it simpler to determine if someone has received the correct payments, the Department added.
There will also be a separate £150 payment for more than six million people with disabilities and £300 for over eight million pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.
The payment windows will approximately be:
£301 – First cost of living payment – during Spring 2023
£150 – Disability payment – during Summer 2023
£300 – Second cost of living payment – during Autumn 2023
£300 – Pensioner payment – during Winter 2023/4
£299 – Third cost of living payment – during Spring 2024.
The payments are part of a £26billion package announced by the Government to help people during the cost of living crisis.
The help is aimed to help soften the blow of high energy bills, food costs and other necessities.
Which benefits qualify?
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
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This payment will be tax-free and will not have any effect on any existing benefit payments a person receives.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Mel Stride said: “These direct payments will help people right across the UK over this year and the start of the next, as we continue to provide consistent, targeted and substantial support for the most vulnerable.
“Our wider support package, including the Energy Price Guarantee, will ensure every household is being helped through this challenging period of high inflation, caused by Putin’s illegal war and the aftershocks of the pandemic.”
Eligible individuals do not need to apply for payments, as they are made automatically.
Those eligible for cost-of-living payments through tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will be paid by HMRC shortly after DWP payments are made.
This builds on the Government’s wider support package, which includes further funding for the Household Support Fund, bringing its total value for October 2021 to March 2024 to over £2 billion.
The fund is distributed to English councils, who know their areas best and are then able to offer direct support for those most in need in their local area.
Every household with a domestic electricity supply is also benefitting from the Energy Price Guarantee, which is saving the average household around £900 this winter and a further £500 in 2023/24 by capping energy costs.
The next round of support for households was previously announced in the autumn statement, building on payments made to more than eight million people in 2022.
The 2022 support package included a £650 cost of living payment, £300 and £150 payments to pensioners.
A £150 council tax rebate for households in council tax bands A-D and a £400 energy bill discount for all households that runs until March this year.
For more information, people can visit Gov.UK.
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