The second payment to support people on benefits through the cost of living crisis is expected to start reaching people’s bank accounts within weeks.
The Department of Work and Pensions has not confirmed the date when the £324 payments will start to be made; however, it has earlier committed to making the payments in the autumn, and it is understood to be very close to announcing the date when it will begin releasing payments.
The £324 payment will follow £326 that the Government began paying out in July. The £650 of support was announced by the then chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as part of measures to relieve some of the financial pressures households are facing.
People on tax credits are receiving their payments on a different timetable. For most of them their first payment of £326 went out between September 2 and 7, and their second payment of £324 will go out sometime this winter.
The UK’s cost-of-living crisis, shows no signs of going away and households are expected to pay thousands more on energy bills following the price-cap hike on October 1.
Earlier this summer, Mr Sunak announced measures aimed at relieving some of the pressures that households are facing. He promised at least eight million households were eligible for the first payment, which forms part of an overall £1,200 of support.
Here is everything you need to know about the cost of living payments.
Who is eligible for the £650 payments?
According to the Government’s official guidance, you may be eligible if you’re getting any of the following:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
The Government advises that you will need to be in receipt of one of these benefits, or will have needed to have had a successful claim, by Wednesday May 25.
Means-tested payments are made based on people’s income and capital– if they can demonstrate their income and capital are below a certain level, they qualify.
When are people getting the payments?
The first instalment of the £650 automatically landed in bank accounts throughout July.
For those who qualify for the one-off payment through tax credits or working tax credit, they received the first instalment early in September and will receive the second this winter. This £326 government payment will be paid automatically into eligible tax credit-only customers’ bank accounts between September 2 and 7, 2022. The first HMRC payments will total around £360 million.
For joint benefits claimants, the Government advises: “If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £650 for both of you, paid in two lump sums from July 2022 and in autumn 2022, if eligible.”
If you are eligible for the payment, there is no need for you to apply – the £650 will be given to you automatically. It will be tax-free for all eligible groups, will not affect the benefit cap, and will not affect existing benefit awards.