More than 8 million households will receive £301 from the government with payments hitting bank accounts from today Eligible ones will be paid between Tuesday 25 April and Wednesday 17 May, with HMRC making payments between Tuesday 2 May and Tuesday 9 May to customers who receive tax credit only
More than eight million UK households will receive a payment of £301 towards the cost of living from the Government, with payments rolling out from today, demonstrating the Government’s relentless focus on our five priorities – including halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt.
As the cost of living continues to hit families across the UK, these payments are designed to support and provide a financial boost to the most vulnerable in society.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send payments automatically and directly to the bank accounts of the recipients, referenced by their social security number followed by ‘DWP COL’.
This is the first of up to three payments for those eligible for means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits, totaling £900 through 2023/24. These will be accompanied by a payment of £150 this summer for those on qualifying disability benefits, and a payment of £300 on top of winter fuel payments for pensioners at the end of 2023.
This builds on the significant cost of living support already provided to eligible households in 2022 – now worth an average of £3,300 per household over this year and last year.
The beneficiaries do not have to apply for the benefit or do anything to receive it. Payments made during this period will be spread over the next few weeks, meaning that not everyone entitled to a payment will receive it today.
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
This latest additional payment will be welcomed by millions of families, as will further payments due in the coming year.
We have continued to support those most vulnerable to rising costs, including through record benefits and national living wage increases, as well as these exceptional cost of living responses to the global pressures we face.
We will also continue to deliver on our five priorities, including halving inflation, as this will ease the pressure on households currently struggling with household bills and rising prices.
Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added:
The best we can do to move people’s money forward is to deliver on our priorities to cut inflation in half and grow the economy.
But we are also here to help people through these difficult times. That’s why we’re keeping energy bills low, freezing fuel duties, increasing Universal Credit and giving £900 payouts to low-income and vulnerable families – all partly funded through windfall taxes on energy profits.
People are eligible for the Cost of Living payment if they were entitled to a payment for one of the seven benefits between January 26 and February 25, 2023. Eligible benefits are:
universal credit; Pension credit; Income-based allowance for job seekers; Income-related work and support allowance; income support; Working tax credit; Child tax credit.
Once the majority of those entitled to a DWP payment have been paid, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will pay £301 between Tuesday 2nd and Tuesday 9th May to one million eligible families receiving only tax credits, with the bank reference ‘HMRC COLS’.
The final payment follows the £650 cost-of-living payment that the government has provided in 2022, along with a further £150 disability benefit and a £300 pensioner.
While payments are made automatically, people must receive one of the eligible benefits during the specified time period to be eligible. Those wishing to check their entitlement to benefits should use a benefits calculator on Gov.uk to get a better idea of what they could receive.
Low income pensioners in particular should check their eligibility for a pension credit as they may still be able to receive the £301 cost of living payment and subsequent payments if they make a successful retroactive application before 19 May 2023 .
Those in need are also encouraged to contact their local council to see if there is additional support available in their area, for example through the DWP’s Household Support Fund in England, worth more than £2bn over its lifetime lifespan.
These benefits are all tax-free, do not count towards the allowance ceiling and do not affect existing benefits. The three means-tested living expenses, worth up to £900 in total, are delivered in three slightly different amounts, each covering a specific qualifying period before payment is made. This allows DWP and HMRC to ensure that support is targeted to those who need it and are eligible; to determine whether a beneficiary has received the correct payments and to determine the value of the payment; and to reduce the risk of fraud. In order to receive the £301 payment, a person must (subject to a very limited exception explained below) have been entitled to a qualifying benefit payment as follows: For Universal Credit, payment in respect of a rating period ending between 26 January 2023 to February 25, 2023 For all other DWP income-related benefits, payment for each day between January 26 and February 25, 2023. To be eligible for tax credit, customers must have received tax credit payment for each day in the period January 26, 2023 up to and including 25 February 2023, or later appears to be entitled to a benefit for this period. Those with DWP benefits other than Universal Credit who are entitled to less than 10 pence and meet all other eligibility criteria, but do not receive a benefit, will still receive a living expenses payment. More than 6 million people on qualifying disability benefits will receive a disability cost of living benefit of £150 by summer 2023. This includes those receiving any of the following benefits: disability living allowance; Personal Independence Payment; Attendance allowance; Scottish disability benefits; Armed Forces Independence Payment; Constant attendance fee; Mobility supplement War pension. The payment of £300 towards pensioners’ living expenses will be paid to all households that received winter fuel payments, in the same way as payments were made in 2022/23. Payment windows and eligibility dates for remaining living expenses will be announced in due course. For more information on these payments please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payments-2023-to-2024 Visit www.gov.uk/government/news/first-2023-24-payment dates-costs -of-maintenance-announced
Table 1: Estimated number of households eligible for the means-tested benefit Cost of living per region
Table 2: Estimated Number of Persons Eligible for the Disability Cost of Living by Region
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