MILLIONS of hard-up households are in line to receive over £1,000 of new government support in 2023.
Most of the cash will be paid directly into people’s bank accounts and the majority won’t need to make a claim.
Hard-up households will be able to cash in on up to £1,350 worth of new cost-of-living support.
A new cost of living payment for those on benefits, another for pensioners and a third for those with disabilities is aimed to help soften the blow of high energy bills, food costs and other necessities.
Cash support that households started to receive last year will also continue to be paid into the new year.
But the exact amount available will depend entirely on your individual circumstances and some may get more than others.
£900 cost of living payment
To be eligible for the payment, households will need to be claiming at least one of the following:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Support
- Social Fund (Sure Start Maternity Grant, Funeral Payment, Cold Weather Payment)
- Universal Credit
For the previous payments, you had to be entitled or later found to be entitled to one of these benefits by a certain date.
So, if you already claim benefits, you could be in line for this payment too, although it isn’t guaranteed.
£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 should have already received a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December.
Further discounts worth £67 each will follow this month and in February and March.
We’ve listed how the leading energy suppliers are paying 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
The current Pensioner Cost of Living payment is being given to all pensioners who normally get the Winter Fuel Payment.
This means you qualify if:
- You were born on or before September 25, 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”
Jeremy Hunt confirmed in his Autumn Statement that millions of elderly Brits will receive another one-off £300 payment in April.
Again, you qualify if you were born on or before September 25, 1956, but it’s not yet known whether households will qualify if they normally receive the Winter Fuel Payment.
£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
Mr Hunt confirmed a second £150 payment will be made next year, but the criteria for receiving it is not yet known.
Cold weather payments – worth £25 a week
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 November 1 to March 31.
Cold weather payments have already been triggered across hundreds of postcodes in England and Wales this winter and thousands will have already received several £25 payments.
If more cold snaps follow this month, thousands could see further payments directly into their bank accounts.
Fuel vouchers – up to £50
If you’re on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.
The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it’s offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.
The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via Gov.UK by searching your postcode.
The voucher should help you cover around two weeks’ worth of electricity use.
Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.
How can I ensure that I qualify for the support?
Millions of eligible households aren’t claiming benefits that they’re entitled to.
Check if you can apply for Universal Credit – get up to £525 a month
The amount you get depends on several criteria, including your age, earnings, whether you live with a partner, have children or are disabled.
The standard monthly allowance for single people aged under 25 is £265.31, rising to £334.91 for older claimants.
Brits that are in a couple, where both members are under 25, will get £416.45 for both people.
If either half of the couple is over 25, you’ll get £525.72.
You will get extra money if you’ve got children or have a health or disability condition.
You can also claim more cash if you need help with your housing costs.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over – but there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
If you’re not eligible for Universal Credit, you can use the government’s benefits calculator to find out what help you can get.
You can apply for Universal Credit on Gov.UK.
Check if you can apply for Pension Credit – get up to £3,300 a year
Pension credit is a means-tested benefit that helps those on lower incomes by giving them extra money throughout retirement.
There are two parts to the benefit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both parts:
- Guarantee credit – tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. This is £182.60 a week if you’re single and £278.70 a week for married couples.
- Savings credit – provides extra money if you’ve saved money towards retirement. You can get an extra £14.48 a week for a single person or £16.20 a week for a married couple.
You may also get additional pension credit if you are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.
For instance, you can get either £56.35 a week or £66.85 per week for each child or young person you’re responsible for.
If you are disabled or care for someone who is disabled, you may get more.
It is available for people who are over the state pension age, and who live in England, Scotland or Wales.
To qualify, you’ll need to have a weekly income of less than £182.60 for single people or £278.70 for couples.
If your income is too high to get pension credit, you may still get some savings pension credit, so it’s worth checking.
You can start your application up to four months before you reach state pension age.
Applications for pension credit can be made on the government website or by ringing the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.