Millions of UK households are set to receive the first Cost of Living payments of £301 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), totalling up to £900 in 2023/24.
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Millions of households in the UK are set to receive a financial boost of up to £900 in 2023/24, with the first Cost of Living Payment of £301 arriving soon.
It will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning that you don’t need to apply for it, and no action is needed.
The payment will help vulnerable households with essential costs such as food and energy bills, with further payments worth £150 for eligible disabled people and £300 for pensioners due later this year.
Those who may be eligible for the payment should check the full list of benefit recipients, as well as the qualifying period. Low-income pensioners are also encouraged to check their eligibility and make a successful backdated Pension Credit application by 19 May to receive the payment.
First Cost of Living payment 2023/2024
The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the first Cost of Living Payment for the 2023/24 period, with payments set to go out between Tuesday, 25 April and Wednesday, 17 May.
Eligible recipients, who are on means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, will receive a direct payment of £301, with a total of £900 being paid out over three instalments.
The DWP is also making additional payments worth £150 for disabled people and £300 for pensioners later in the year, meaning that some of the most vulnerable people in society could receive up to £1,350 in direct payments.
How do I get the payment?
The payments will be made automatically, so there is no need for you to apply or do anything to receive them.
The payment reference for bank accounts will be “DWP COLP”, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.
Remember, you DO NOT need to apply. If you get any emails, texts or phone calls asking you to apply, they are scams.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, said that the payments would give a financial boost to over eight million households, and that the best way to protect people from high costs was to halve inflation by the end of the year. Work is also the best route out of poverty, which is why the DWP has announced additional Work Coach support to help more people find work or increase their hours.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, also commented on the payments, saying that the Spring Budget had focused on supporting people with the cost of living and helping them into well-paid work. In addition to the direct cash payments, the Energy Price Guarantee has been extended to hold bills down until energy prices fall, the National Living Wage has been raised to £10.42, and the prepayment meter premium has been ended.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment, you need to be entitled to a payment for one of the qualifying benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023, or payment for an assessment period ending between these dates.
- Universal Credit;
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Income Support;
- Working Tax Credit;
- Child Tax Credit;
- Pension Credit
If you’re a low-income pensioner who is not already receiving Pension Credit, you can still qualify for the £301 payment if you make a successful backdated application by 19 May.
If you live in a low-income household, it’s a good idea to contact your local council to see what support is available for essential food and energy costs through the Household Support Fund. The DWP fund is worth over £2 billion and is delivered through councils, which are best placed to identify local need.
If you’re eligible for the Cost of Living Payment solely through tax credits and not through DWP means-tested benefits, you will be paid by HMRC shortly after DWP payments begin.
HMRC will publish specific details of when payments will be made to these customers along with the bank account payment reference.
Does it impact future benefits claims?
Cost of Living payments are tax free. They don’t count towards your benefits cap and don’t have any impact on benefit rewards.