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309,000 families in Northern Ireland set to receive cost of living payment




Over 8 million households in the UK, including 309,000 in Northern Ireland, will get a cash payment from July 2022 to ease cost of living pressures.


After ministers confirmed initial payments would begin from 14 July 2022, the Department for Work and Pensions has now revealed how many people in each part of the country will receive the new financial support. They have also revealed that the disability top-up will land in bank accounts in September 2022.



After ministers confirmed initial payments would begin from 14 July 2022, the Department for Work and Pensions has now revealed how many people in each part of the country will receive the new financial support. They have also revealed that the disability top-up will land in bank accounts in September 2022.


These figures show that nearly one in four families will receive the means-tested benefit cost of living payment, whilst nearly one in ten of the population will get the £150 disability top-up.


The first cost of living instalment will see millions of low-income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland initially £326 better off as the government delivers significant interventions to support groups who are most vulnerable to rising costs. In total, millions of households will receive at least £1,200 from the government this year to help cover rising costs.



Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey said:


“With millions of the lowest-income households soon seeing the first of two cash instalments land into their bank accounts, we are taking action to directly help families with the cost of living.


“This one-off payment totalling £650 is part of our £37 billion cost of living support package that will put an extra £1,200 into the pockets of those most in need.”


The second instalment of £324 will be sent to qualifying low income households from the Autumn. The payments are designed to be deliberately slightly unequal to minimise fraud risks from those who may seek to exploit this system.


The eligibility date for the second instalment will be announced soon.



If customers are eligible through receiving tax credits only, HMRC will contact them and issue payments automatically, with the first instalment being made from autumn. DWP will administer payments for customers on all other eligible means-tested benefits, and customers do not need to contact them or apply for the payment.


Low-income households are benefiting from government support in a variety of different ways this year as global inflationary pressures, exacerbated by the unjust war in Ukraine, have caused prices to rise for several essentials. The government understands that many people are worried about the impact these rising prices will have on their household finances, which is why £37 billion of support is being provided to boost budgets and mitigate the worst of these pressures.


Support includes the direct cost of living payment of up to £650 for over 8 million households on eligible means-tested benefits, a separate £300 payment for pensioners, and a £150 payment for eligible disabled people, which can be paid on top of the £650 payment.



The government has also expanded support for the Household Support Fund – which helps people with food and energy bills – with an extra £421 million, on top of £79 million for devolved nations; the total value of this support now stands at £1.5 billion. Fuel duty was also cut by 5p per litre for 12 months in March, and alcohol duty has been frozen for 2022/23.


You can read more about the government’s cost of living support and what is available here.


• More than eight million households on benefits will receive a payment of up to £650 this year, made in two instalments. This includes all households entitled to a payment of the following benefits:


Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit.



• The DWP will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July 2022, the second from the Autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly after each to avoid duplicate payments.


• To be eligible for the first instalment, families must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either:


Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022, income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.


• Tax credit customers, who will receive the first instalment later in the year, must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits on any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.


• This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.


• HMRC urges customers to ensure their information is up to date when renewing their tax credits, as they may be eligible for this automatic payment.


• These lump sums will be delivered in two slightly different payments of £326 and £324. The distinct value relates to a specific qualifying period, so it is simpler to determine if a payee received the correct payments, reducing the fraud risk of people who claim not to have had one of the specific two payments, as DWP will be able to clearly track those who have.


All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter while people on eligible disability benefits will receive an extra £150 to help with additional costs they face.


• The Chancellor also announced an extra £500 million of funding. In England £421 million will be used to extend the Household Support Fund, which is designed to help low-income households with food and energy bills. The Devolved Administrations will receive £79 million.