MILLIONS should take note of these six direct payments on their way before the end of the year.
With just two weeks until Christmas, festive preparations will now be well underway, and some may even be looking towards the new year.
But there are some dates you need to be aware of when planning your budget.
It can be hard to budget when you don’t know what is round the corner, particularly for low-income families.
But support is on the way that could help your festive celebrations and get the new year off to a good start.
In total, you could be entitled to up to £876.
Do bear in mind that you may not be eligible for some of the support listed below – here is what you need to know.
£10 Universal Credit and benefits Christmas bonus paid
Millions on Universal Credit and benefits will have already received a Christmas bonus.
The tax-free £10 payment starting hitting bank accounts qualifying from December 5, with the final payments being made today.
Eligible households don’t need to apply for the bonus as it will be paid automatically – but they will need to meet the eligibility criteria.
And as the £10 is a bonus, it won’t need to be repaid either, nor will it affect any other benefits you receive.
To qualify for the payment you must be present or ordinarily resident in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the first full week of December between the 5 and 11.
Households will also need to claim at least one of the 20 qualifying benefits within the same period.
The bonus isn’t available to those who receive Universal Credit only but someone on Universal Credit who also receives one of the qualifying benefits will receive it.
The following 20 benefits make you eligible for the tax-free £10 Christmas bonus payment.
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Disability Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate
- Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
- Mobility Supplement
- Pension Credit – the guarantee element
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
- Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
- Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
- War Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
£400 energy bill discount
Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
We’ve listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households.
If you’re on a credit meter or smart prepayment meter the discount will come off your bills or be credited to your account automatically.
Those on traditional prepayment meters will receive the discount through a voucher.
Check with your supplier to confirm how you’ll receive the cash.
For more information on eligibility, important dates, or anything else make sure to check out our other articles.
£300 pensioner cost of living payment
Payments of a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” to eight million households began on November 23.
To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, the following must apply:
- 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 – this is called the “qualifying week”.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said most payments are made automatically in November or December, and should be received by January 13, 2023.
Up to £75 in cold weather payments available
When temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.
The cold weather payments are made in locations where residents experience continuous below-zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven-day period of low temperatures from now to March 31.
£150 Warm Home Discount
Struggling households can get a £150 discount on their energy bill this winter.
The discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.
Households in England and Wales don’t need to apply to get the cash and they’ll automatically qualify if they were receiving certain benefits on or before Sunday, August 21.
If you launch a successful claim for backdated benefits, you may still be able to qualify after this date.
In Scotland, some customers will need to apply for cash.
Individual energy companies decide when they will give their customers the discount.
Six energy suppliers have told The Sun that they have started paying eligible customers.
But don’t assume you’ll get the money straight away.
Most of the energy firms are testing their systems which allow them to process the payments and some have only paid a handful of their eligible customer base.
Energy suppliers have until March 2023 to ensure that all eligible customers are paid the discount.
We asked the major energy companies when customers can expect to see the bill reduction – you can find out what they said here.
Missing cost of living payments – £324
MILLIONS of households received he next instalment of the £650 cost of living payment last month,
The payment is designed to help those on a low income with the cost of living.
Millions on means-tested benefits are eligible for the payment.
That includes those on Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
Plus, those on Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit.
The vast majority of people should received the payment between November 8 and 23.
The remaining amount, those on Tax Credits, should have received it between November 23 and 30.
In either case, if you’re eligible for the payment you won’t have to do anything as the payment is made automatically into the bank account where your benefit is normally paid into.
But there are certain scenarios where you might experience delays in receiving the payment, for example if you changed bank accounts.
Here, we explain the four reasons your £324 cost of living payment could be delayed – and how to avoid it.
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