Cost of living payment: How to find out if you're eligible

The credit from DWP is the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits.

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The DWP is processing the first of three payments - totalling up to £900 - to more than eight million households over April and May. (Getty)

Millions of UK households will receive a £301 payment over the next six weeks to help ease the pressures of the cost of living crisis.

The credit, paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits.

It will appear in bank accounts between April 25 and May 17 for people on universal credit or pension credit, in 2023/24.

There will also be further payments worth £150 for eligible people with disabilities and £300 for pensioners due later this year, meaning some people will 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. It is hoped this will help prevent scammers from tricking people into handing over their banking details or money in order to apply for the payment.

The payment reference for bank accounts will be “DWP COLP”, along with the claimant’s national insurance number.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves 11 Downing Street, London, with his ministerial box before delivering his Budget at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday March 15, 2023. See PA story POLITICS Budget. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jeremy Hunt has ratified the payments to help ease the cost of living crisis, and says he will halve inflation in the coming year. (Getty)

And Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reiterated the commitment to halve inflation. He said: “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.”

Who is eligible for the £900 cost of living payment?

Benefit recipients who will qualify for the upcoming cost-of-living payment also include those who receive income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, working tax credit and child tax credit.

You can check if you are eligible for the payment here.

To be eligible for the new £301 cost-of-living payment, a person must have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit within a certain timeframe.

For universal credit, if someone had an assessment period ending between 26 January 2023 and 25 February 2023 that resulted in an entitlement to money, they will also be entitled to the £301 cost-of-living payment.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  A sign directs to a Food Bank depot outside St. Paul's Church in Brixton on October 23, 2012 in London, England. The need for food banks has increased with around three depots opening across the UK each week. The Trussell Trust, the charity running food banks, have said that record numbers of people have required emergency food over the last six months and they expect to feed 200,000 over the next year. Vulnerable people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, many of whom have fallen out of the benefit system and have no other way to feed themselves and their families, are using food banks.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
It is hoped that the payments will help ease the cost of living crisis which has seen use of food banks soar in recent months. (Getty)

For other DWP means-tested benefits, people generally should have received a payment between 26 January and 25 February 2023 to qualify for the £301 cost-of-living payment.

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.”

The 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 this year.

Households on low incomes are being told to contact their local council to see what support is available for essential food and energy costs through the household support fund. 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 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shortly after DWP payments start.

More information about the payments is available at