CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt is expected to unveil new cost of living payments of up to £1,100 in the Autumn Statement.
The statement, coming tomorrow, could put the the most hard-up households in line for a cash boost.
Under the government’s plans, it is expected benefit claimants will get £650, poor pensioners will get £300 and there will be another £150 disability payment.
Eight million households claiming benefits, such as Universal Credit and Income support, currently get cost of living payments worth up to £650.
But eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
More than five million people are thought to be missing out on cash, with an estimated £13 billion in benefits going unclaimed.
Anyone can check if they are eligible for benefits using a simple calculator tool.
Benefits are not just for those out of work and millions of people in work get Universal Credit to top up their income.
There are free calculators that can help you to worth out whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.
Here, we explain how you can claim the benefits that may make you eligible for each payment, if the criteria is the same as last time.
£650 cost of living payment
Brits claiming certain benefits are currently eligible for a £650 cost of living payment.
The first half of the cash was paid earlier this year, while the second half is currently being dished out.
It was originally announced when Rishi Sunak was Chancellor, but it is believed that the help is set to be extended.
At the moment, you’re eligible if you claim the following:
- Universal Credit
- Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit.
For the previous payments, you had to be entitled, or later found to be entitled by a certain date.
The government could therefore bring in similar rules again.
So if you already claim benefits, you could be in line for this payment too, although it isn’t guaranteed.
£300 pensioners cost of living payment
Pensioners are also getting a helping hand at the moment, with an extra £300 one-off payment coming this moth.
You can currently receive this payment if:
- you were born on or before 25 September 1956
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the “qualifying week”
As with the £650 cost of living payment, there is likely to be another cut off point for when you can qualify.
And remember, the government could change the qualifying criteria.
The Sun will be covering all the announcement’s in tomorrow’s Autumn Statement so do check back to find out more details.
£150 disability cost of living payment
People with disabilities who qualified for the current £150 one-off payment needed to receive one of the following:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
However, the eligibility criteria could change for any of these on Thursday
What help is on offer now?
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you’ll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don’t need to apply to get the cash and they’ll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who’s eligible here.
There’s a few hardship funds you might be entitled to through you energy supplier.
Contact them and ask to see what is available, though the application process is very in-depth.
You could earn up to £1,500 from the British Gas fund, for instance.
There’s also the cold weather payment, which starts from November 1 onwards and continues through the winter months.
Temperatures drop dramatically from November to February, so it should help people heat their homes more comfortably.
You get £25 for each seven-day period where the weather is below zero Celsius on average during this time frame.
You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by popping your postcode into the government’s tool now.
You can check if you’re eligible here first.
Most payments are made automatically in November or December. You should be paid by 13 January 2023, so keep an eye on your bank account.
There’s also a Universal Credit bonus this December – millions of claimants could get a free £10 bonus to help them over the festive period.