I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the cost of living crisis is real. Inflation is having a direct impact on food prices and pushing up the cost of your weekly shop. In addition, the cost of petrol, as well as gas and electricity is skyrocketing.
As bleak as this is, there is some good news. The Government is providing an additional Cost of Living Payment for people on benefits. However, it can be a little confusing as to who gets the help and when it’s available. Read our simple guide below to see what this could mean for you.
What is the Cost of Living Payment?
The Cost of Living Payment is extra funds provided by the government to help support those living on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits.
How much is the Cost of Living Payment?
In 2022 the Cost of Living Payment was £650 in total and was paid in two instalments. The first payment was £326 and the second payment was £324.
The government has announced further Cost of Living Payments for 2023–2024. A Cost of Living Payment of up £900 is available for people on eligible low income benefits. This will be paid in three instalments over 2023 — 2024.
There is also £300 available for eligible pensioner households (in addition to Winter Fuel Payments) and £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit.
Who gets the Cost of Living Payment?
If you receive any of these benefits then you will be eligible to receive a payment.
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
In 2022, to receive payments you needed to have been eligible for benefits during a certain time period. The time period for 2023 has yet to be announced by the government.
How do I get the Cost of Living Payment?
You don’t have to do anything. If you are eligible then the payment will automatically be paid to you in the same way that your benefits are paid. You will receive the payments as standalone amounts in your account.
You do not need to apply or provide any details to receive the payment.
Will Cost of Living Payment be paid with Universal Credit?
The Cost of Living Payment is made in addition to Universal Credit.
You will receive the payment in the same way you receive your benefits currently.
When will I receive the Cost of Living Payment?
The first Cost of Living Payment of £301 will be made sometime during Spring 2023, the second payment of £300 is due sometime in Autumn 2023 and the third payment of £299 during Spring 2024.
The Disability Payment of £150 is due during Summer 2023 and the Pensioner Payment of £300 is due during Winter 2023/24.
I think I should have received a Cost of Living Payment but I haven’t
If you think you should have received a Cost of Living Payment, you can report a missing Cost of Living Payment here.
Update 21/07/22: The Welsh Government have made an additional £90m available to expand the groups who can apply for £200 to help towards their winter fuel bills. This opens it up to people claiming child tax credits, pension credits, disability benefits, carers allowance, contributory benefits (like contribution based ESA, JSA), those receiving help from the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and others. Low income households can apply from 26 Sept 2022 with first payments reaching people in October. Read more about the Wales fuel support scheme: 2022 to 2023 on the Welsh Government website.