The former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced in May that there will be financial assistance available from the government to those most impacted by the current cost of living crisis that is engulfing the UK.

There are three different Cost of Living payments which millions across the country are entitled to and have been introduced with the goal of helping those most in need with the rising cost of energy and food.

What are the three payments?

The three Cost of Living payments are as follows:

  • Main Cost of Living benefit – worth £650 in total, for those on income-related benefits and tax credits
  • Disability payment – worth £150, for all who receive non-means tested disability benefits
  • Pensioner payment – worth £300, for all those who receive the Winter Fuel Payment

Who is eligible?

In detail, those who are eligible for the first and largest Cost of Living benefit of £650, will be in receipt of any of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

If you receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Contributory Employment and Support Allowance or new-style Jobseeker’s Allowance but not Universal Credit, you will not qualify.

If you receive Housing Benefit, but none of the qualifying benefits, you will not receive the payment.

To be eligible, you must have received any of the above benefits between 26th April 2022 and 25th May 2022. The qualifying dates for the second payment are yet to be announced.

The benefit will be paid in two installments – the first instalment of £326 will be paid between 14th and 31st July to the majority of people. The second instalment of £324 is due to be paid sometime in the autumn of this year.

If you receive only tax credits, you will not get the first instalment until the autumn, and the second payment will not come until the winter. Around 1.1m of the households that will qualify for a payment are in this group.

The eligibility criteria for the pensioner payment and disability payment are much less complex. Those who receive non-means tested disability benefits will receive £150 from September 2022.

Pensioners who receive the Winter Fuel Benefit will receive an extra £300 for their household, paid on top of their normal winter payment from November 2022. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment they may already receive due to benefits or tax credits.

To be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment itself, you must have been born between 26th September 1946 and 25th September 1956. The amount you are entitled to varies depending on your circumstances.

Other help available

This winter, the government have made available a £400 discount on electricity bills for all households – this will be arranged by energy providers and, unlike the previous scheme, will not need to be repaid by customers.

Furthermore, a £150 rebate on council tax for band A-D properties has been paid to many households but is still being processed by some councils and so many are waiting to receive this.

As always, if you would like any further information regarding the above, please feel free to contact our offices by email