THOUSANDS are still waiting for their Â£324 cost of living payment due from today.
It won’t land in bank accounts at the same time for everybody – so here’s everything you need to know about the payment.
TheÂ cash support – part ofÂ the bigger Â£650 boostÂ – is for those on means-tested benefits.
That means those on Universal Credit and legacy benefits like tax credits will get the help.
TheÂ first halfÂ was paid in July this year, and the second half will begin arriving in accounts between today and November 23.
Roughly one million households claiming tax credits will need to wait until later in the month to get the second payment.
This is to avoid duplicate payments where people claim tax credits and another qualifying benefit.
The big cost of living boost is on top of aÂ separate Â£300 going out to all over state pensionÂ age.
Who is eligible for the Â£324 payment?
Anybody receiving the following benefits is eligible for the second half of the Â£650 cost of living payment:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
You must have been entitled, or later found to be entitled to any of these benefits, between August 26 and September 25 this year.
The payment will land automatically in your bank account if you are eligible – so you don’t need to do anything to get the help.
But 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.
Cost of living payments are tax-free, do not count towards the benefit cap and do not affect the amount you usually get.
Payments of Â£326 have previously been made by the DWP and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The payment reference on DWP recipientsâ bank accounts will be their national insurance number, followed by âDWP COLâ. For HMRC recipients, the payment reference will be âHMRC COLSâ.
Who isn’t eligible?
The following benefits on their own won’t qualify you for the Â£324 cost of living payment.
But often if you’re getting these, you could be eligible for means-tested benefits which means you could get parts of it.
Anyone can check if they are eligible for benefits using a simple calculator tool.
You can use a free benefits checker from Turn2Us, Policy in Practice or EntitledTo to see.
You could also qualify for a different one-off payment instead, for instance, if you have a disability or are over state pension age – see more in the sections below.
- Attendance allowance
- Carer’s allowance
- Child benefit
- Disability living allowance (DLA)
- Contributory, or “new style”, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Guardian’s allowance
- Contribution-based, or “new style”, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Maternity allowance
- Personal Independence payment
- State pension
- Statutory adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental pay
- Statutory sick pay
Other help you could claim
If you’re struggling, there are still a few cash boosts and schemes which could grant you support, especially as we shift into a chilly winter.
Millions of pensioners will get a Â£300 payment, known as the pensioner cost of living payment.
The payment will be made in November or December and it will help many heat their home this winter.
The cash is on top of the existing Winter Fuel Payment worth between Â£100 and Â£300 that those over state pension age get already.
Up to a million pensioners could be missing out on the Â£650 payment on top though.
That’s because they are eligible for pension credit – and so the Â£650 payment too – but have not applied.
Pensioners on low incomes are being urged to claim so they can get the support.
Â£400 energy discount
Since October 1, all households have started to receive a Â£400 energy bill discount.
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 Â£66 discount this month and another worth Â£67 in December, January, February and March.
Â£150 warm home discount
Millions of households are in line to get the Â£150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
The Warm Home Discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.
In previous years, households received a Â£140 discount and most had to apply for the payment.
However, you no longer have to claim to get the cash and you’ll automatically qualify if you are receiving certain benefits.
Your energy supplier will dish out the payment, worth Â£150 this year, as long as you were receiving any of the qualifying benefits on or before Sunday, August 21.
Read here to find out more about whether you qualify.
Check if you can get an energy grant
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.
British Gas has opened applications for struggling households to claim up to Â£1,500 – but you need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this help.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF’s energy customer support fund
- E.on’s energy fund
- Npower’s energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power’s hardship fund
You can get free debt advice
If you’re in debt, there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free advice on how to manage debt.
Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
- Money Helper – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
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