Cost of Living Payments
The Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) have announced the following payments during 2022/23:
July 2022: £325 for most benefit claimants
More than eight million UK claimants of Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credits and legacy benefits will receive a one-off payment of £650, paid in two instalments of £325. If you’re on any of these benefits except Tax Credits, your first payment of £325 will arrive in your bank account from 14 July.
Claimants must have begun a claim for these benefits by 25 May 2022 at the latest to qualify for the first of the two payments. The £650 will be tax-free, will not count towards the Benefit Cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. This applies throughout the UK. In addition to the £650 for households on benefits, there will be a separate £300 payment for pensioners, and a £150 payment for disabled people, which can be paid on top of the £650 payment.
Late summer or early autumn 2022: £325 for some Tax Credit claimants
People on Tax Credits will also get £650 paid in two instalments but theirs will take longer to arrive because they are being administered by HMRC, not the DWP.
It’s understood these are due in late summer or early autumn for the first payment, and by Christmas 2022 for the second payment. This applies throughout the UK.
By September 2022: £150 for disabled claimants.
£150 will be paid into the bank accounts of six million people on the following means-tested disability benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Scottish Disability Benefits
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
People will have had to be claiming, or started a (later successful) claim for, these benefits by 25 May 2022. They will be paid directly, be exempt from tax, not count towards the Benefit Cap, and not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
The exact timing for these payments is not yet known because the DWP has not passed the necessary laws to pay the money. This applies throughout the UK.
Autumn 2022: Second £325 payment for benefit claimants
The Government says that the second instalment of the £650 one-off payment for people on benefits will arrive in the autumn for people on Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and most legacy benefits. Again, people on Tax Credits will have to wait longer - the only guarantee is they’ll get it by the end of the year.
October 2022 to March 2023: £400 energy bills discount for all
A “buy now pay later” £200 discount off electricity bills from 1 October 2022 (which had to be paid back over five years) has been axed. Instead, all households will get £400 off their electricity bills from October as a non-repayable grant.
It will happen over the course of six months from October 2022 to March 2023. So, if you pay by monthly direct debit you may get £66.67 off your bill each month.
This grant is a direct discount off your bills, not cash you can spend, and you’ll likely find that your monthly bills are still higher than they were at the same time last year. Customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or via a voucher.
An extra £150 will be paid for properties in Council Tax bands A-D, meaning millions of the lowest-income households will receive at least £1,200 in support this year.
November to December 2022: £300 payment for most pensioners
A one-off 'Pensioner Cost of Living Payment' of £300 will go to pensioner households who receive Winter Fuel Payments in November or December. These payments will be paid alongside the Winter Fuel Payment which is worth between £100 and £300 for pensioners.
For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit. People are eligible if they're aged 66 or over by 19 September 2022, although some pensioners do not qualify for the Winter Fuel 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.