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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

7.2 million Cost of Living payments made to low-income families across UK

Over 7.2 million payments of £326 have already been made to help households through the government’s Cost of Living support.

This means £2.4 billion has been paid out to low-income families in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the second instalment of £324 arriving later this year.

The first payments were made on 14 July 2022, meaning the government has paid on average over a million families every working day since then.

This is all part of the government’s £37 billion support package for households.

Millions will get £1,200 this year to help them with rising costs, including this £650 payment.

And in addition to this, nearly 1 in 10 people will get a £150 disability payment this autumn, while over eight million pensioner households could receive an extra £300 through their Winter Fuel Payments in November and December.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey said:

“This government said that we would protect those on the lowest incomes, and we have delivered what we said with over 7 million households receiving £326 in the last week. There is more help to come for households, with the second half of the £650 payment arriving later this year and further payments for pensioners and disabled people also on the way.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi said:

“I know that people are finding things difficult with rising prices and increasing pressure on household budgets.

“That’s why we’re taking action to control inflation and providing immediate help for households. It’s so important that over 7 million vulnerable households have received £326 direct payments so far and there is also more help to come, with 8 million of the most vulnerable households receiving £1,200 of direct support to help with bills over the winter.”

In total, over eight million families will be eligible for this payment, with around one million eligible because they receive tax credits and no other eligible benefits. These families will receive their first instalment from HMRC in the autumn, and the second instalment in the winter.

DWP will administer payments for customers on all other eligible means-tested benefits, and no one needs to contact the government or apply for the payment at any stage.

Those who are eligible should look out in their bank accounts for a payment of £326 with the reference “DWP Cost of Living” in their bank accounts. This payment is made automatically, meaning no one has to apply or do anything to receive it.

Eligible claimants who have not received their payment yet should not be concerned, as the DWP expects some payments may take until 31 July 2022 to come through.

Further information

• In a small minority of complex circumstances, claimants may be paid automatically after the end of July – for example, if they were deemed unable to claim certain benefits, but won backdated entitlement on appeal. The DWP will seek to contact claimants directly in the very small minority of cases where there are issues or delays.

• More than 8 million families on means-tested benefits will receive a payment of up to £650 this year, made in two lump sums.

• This includes all families 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, 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 lump sum, 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-only customers, who will receive the first lump sum in the autumn, must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.

• The entitlement period for the second lump sum will be announced soon.

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

• 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.

• Gov estimate that around 23% of families in the UK will be eligible for the first lump sum of the means-tested benefit Cost of Living payment.

• DWP will process every eligible claimant’s payment by the end of this month, and over 99% of the over seven million claimants being paid by DWP will receive their money this month, including nearly 300,000 in Northern Ireland. There will be some cases – such as those who were not deemed entitled for the qualifying period, but then gained entitlement upon appeal – that will be paid after July, but this is unavoidable, and they will be paid as soon as possible.

• DWP management information is derived from actual volumes of automated payments made by the DWP Central Payment System rounded to the nearest hundred thousand. Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

• Dates for the additional payments to disabled people will be confirmed soon.

Please note that the tables below measure slightly different groups – this is because entitlement to means-tested benefits is done by family, whereas disability entitlement is done for individuals (so one family could have multiple disability payments).


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