Government confirms date for first £301 cost of living payment
Millions of UK households will receive £301 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 25 April and 17 May.
This is the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, in 2023/24. This follows the £650 Cost of Living Payment made to over eight million people in 2022.
There will also be further payments worth £150 for eligible disabled people and £300 for pensioners due later this year, meaning the most vulnerable can receive up to £1,350 in direct payments.
The £301 payment will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. The payment reference for bank accounts will be DWP COLP, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
"These payments will give a financial boost to more than eight million households as we continue to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable, while the best way we can protect people from high costs is to halve inflation by the end of this year.
"In the long-term, we know work is the best route out of poverty, which is why we recently announced additional Work Coach support to help more people find work or increase their hours. Anyone looking to boost their skills or progress their career should speak to their work coach to ensure they’re accessing all the support the DWP can provide".
Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added:
"I know that times are tough, which is why a key focus of the Spring Budget was supporting people with the cost of living and helping people into well-paid work.
"Not only are we providing £900 in direct cash payments to millions of the most vulnerable households, we’ve also extended the Energy Price Guarantee to hold bills down until energy prices fall, raised the National Living Wage to £10.42, put an end to the prepayment meter premium and delivered a plan that will more than halve inflation this year – ensuring everyone’s incomes go further".
The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the upcoming Cost of Living payment are those who receive:
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
Working Tax Credit;
Child Tax Credit;
The qualifying period for this payment is between 26 January and 25 February 2023.
To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment, you need to have been entitled to a payment for one of these benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023, or payment for an assessment period ending between these dates.
DWP is also encouraging low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as they can still qualify for the £301 Cost of Living Payment if they make a successful backdated Pension Credit application by 19 May.
Low-income households are also encouraged to contact their local council to see what support is available for essential food and energy costs through the Household Support Fund. Worth over £2 billion across its lifetime, the DWP fund is delivered through councils who are best placed to identify local need.
Those who are eligible for the £301 Cost of Living Payment solely through tax credits, and are not eligible through DWP means-tested benefits, 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.
Eligible customers will not need to apply or contact the Government at any stage to receive the £301 Cost of Living Payment.
These payments will all be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
The three means-tested cost of living payments, worth up to £900 in total, will be delivered in three slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. This allows DWPand HMRC to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible; to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value; and to reduce the risk of fraud.
To get the £301 payment someone must (subject to a very limited exception) have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit as follows:
For Universal Credit, payment for an assessment period ending between the 26 January 2023 to the 25 February 2023
For all other DWP means-tested benefits, payment in respect of any day between 26 January and 25 February 2023.
For tax credit-only customers to be eligible they must have received a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023, or later be found to have been entitled to a payment for this period.
Those on DWP benefits other than Universal Credit who are entitled to less than 10 pence and meet all other qualifying criteria but who do not receive a benefit payment, will still receive a Cost of Living Payment.
More than 6 million people on qualifying disability benefits will receive a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 during Summer 2023. This includes those in receipt of one of the following benefits:
Disability Living Allowance;
Personal Independence Payment;
Scottish Disability Benefits;
Armed Forces Independence Payment;
Constant Attendance Allowance;
War Pension Mobility Supplement.
The £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid to all households in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments, in the same way as 2022/23 payments were made.
Payment windows and eligibility criteria for the remaining Cost of Living payments will be announced in due course.
For more information on these payments, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payments-2023-to-2024