MILLIONS should take note of the X major money changes happening before the end of the year.
From a major tax cut to hundreds in direct government support – we’ve listed how your finances could be affected this month.
Do bear in mind that you may not be eligible for some of the support listed below.
However, millions will be affected by a major tax cut and direct cash support to help with their energy bills.
November 16 – October inflation figures released
The Office for National Statistics will release its latest consumer price inflation (CPI) figures on Wednesday, November 16.
The UK’s rate of inflation last hit 10.1% in September and it was driven by soaring food and energy prices.
Inflation last hit 10.1% back in July – the biggest rise in inflation since 1997.
Inflation is what goods and services are worth in a country.
If it is higher, that means everyday essentials such as food are more expensive.
Rising food prices were the major factor which drove inflation up between August and September 2022.
The Bank of England predicts that inflation will peak at 11% in October and then remain above 10% for a few months after.
High inflation will likely mean that the Bank of England will need to raise interest rates next month to help bring it down.
November 17 – deadline to backdate benefits and qualify for the Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.
However, don’t need to apply to get the cash and you’ll automatically qualify if you are receiving certain benefits including pension credit.
Energy suppliers will automatically dish out the payment, worth £150 this year, as long as you were receiving pension credit on or before Sunday, August 21.
However, if you later launch a successful claim for pension credit, you may still be able to qualify after this date.
Pension credit rules all allow first-time claimants to backdate their benefit entitlement by three months.
So you’ll need to launch your claim by Friday, November 18 and then successfully get it backdated to cover the August 21 Warm Home Discount qualifying date.
So if you make a claim now you could be in the qualifying period for the Warm Home Discount.
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin in December.
November 23 – second half of £650 cost of living payment for those on tax credits
Those receiving tax credits will be paid the second half of the cost of living payment after November 23.
The government is paying tax credit claimants later than those getting DWP benefits like Universal Credit to avoid paying anyone twice.
Anyone who claims both types of tax credits – child tax credit and working tax credit – will have the payment made into the bank account where child tax credits are paid.
You’ll know when the money has landed in your bank account by looking for a reference which starts with your national insurance number, followed by “HMRC COL”.
November – £300 pensioner cost of living payment
In November, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment, worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
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”.
November and December – £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.
British Gas, EDF Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power plan to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.
The way you’ll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.
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.
There are further payments and discounts coming out in December as well, such as the Universal Credit Christmas bonus.
Early December – Christmas bonus paid for those on Universal Credit and benefits
Eligible households will not need to apply for the bonus as it will be paid automatically – but they will need to meet the eligibility criteria.
The tax-free £10 payment is usually made after the qualifying week and before Christmas.
But 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 between December 5 and 11.
It will show up in your bank account as “DWP XB” on your statement.
Households will also need to claim at least one of the 20 qualifying benefits within the same period.
December 15 – Bank of England could raise interest rates
The Bank of England last hiked interest rates to 3% on November 3.
Lifting interest rates is meant to encourage people to save, rather than spend, which in theory should help bring rampant inflation under control.
The central bank has already hiked the base rate eight times consecutively.
And rising interest rates make the cost of borrowing, including through loans, credit cards and mortgage repayments, more expensive.
But savers are benefiting and banks are battling it out to offer customers market-leading savings rates.
The Bank of England has said that rates would hit a maximum of 4.6% next year – a forecast which has brought some relief for mortgage holders.
This opened the way for lenders to reduce some mortgage rates.
But there’s no ultimate guarantee that mortgage rates won’t rise if interest rates are hiked in December.
December 23 – some Universal Credit and benefit payments brought forward
Some households will see benefit payment dates change over the festive period, including those on Universal Credit.
If you usually get paid on the 26th or 27th of each month you should be paid on December 23 this year.
That’s because Boxing Day counts as a bank holiday, and the 27th is a “substituted” bank holiday day for Christmas Day and payments aren’t made on these days.
The same goes for if you usually receive your Universal Credit payment on the 2nd of each month as January 2, 2023 is a bank holiday.
If you usually get paid Universal Credit on this day, you’ll get it on December 30, 2022.
Plus, if you usually get paid on the 24th or 25th of each month you should receive your payment on December 23 as the 24th and 25th fall on the weekend this year.
If a payment date lands on the weekend it’s usually made the first working day before then.
You don’t need to do anything if your usual date for getting Universal Credit falls on a bank holiday.
But you should factor any early payments into your budget and make sure it lasts you long enough to take you through to the next month.
If your payment date falls on a normal date you’ll get your money as usual.
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