The Government Announces Dates for Next Low-Income Cost of Living Payment
The Government has announced the dates for when the next installment of the £900 low-income cost of living payment will be paid. The grant is being sent to more than eight million of the country’s most vulnerable households as the UK continues to battle high energy prices and inflation. This payment is part of a range of measures unveiled by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last year and is an extension of a £650 payment issued in 2022. The £900 payment is being paid in three installments, with the first payment of £301 already made between April and May.
When is the Next Cost of Living Payment?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will issue the payment to most eligible claimants between Tuesday 31 October and Sunday 19 November. For those eligible solely through tax credits, the payment will be issued by HMRC between Friday 10 November and Sunday 19 November. The slightly later date for tax credit recipients is to avoid duplicate payments. The payment will amount to £300 and is tax-free. It will not count towards the benefit cap and does not have any impact on existing benefit awards. Eligible individuals will automatically receive the payment, and the payment reference for bank accounts will be the recipient’s national insurance number followed by either “DWP COL” or “HMRC COLSD”. There will be a final payment of £299 in the spring of 2024. The slightly different payment amounts are to make it easier for the DWP and HMRC to track the grants and minimize fraud risk.
Who Gets the Cost of Living Payment?
The low-income cost of living payment is being paid to individuals who receive the following benefits: universal credit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, pension credit, working tax credit, and child tax credit. To be eligible for the payment from the DWP, individuals must have been entitled to a payment for a qualifying benefit between 18 August and 17 September, or for an assessment period ending between these dates. Individuals receiving the payment from HMRC must have received a payment of tax credits for any day between 18 August and 17 September. Those whose qualifying benefit is reduced to nil for the qualifying period will not be eligible for the payment, as it is sometimes called a “nil award”. However, some exceptions exist where individuals may still be eligible for the payment even if their benefit is reduced to £0.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt emphasized that halving inflation and getting price rises under control is crucial to supporting households struggling with their bills. He stated that the cost of living payment, along with other measures, is part of a package of support worth an average of £3,300 per household over this year and last, aimed at helping those who are struggling the most.