Cost of living payments: Am I eligible and when will they be paid?

Millions of households on low incomes will receive new cost-of-living support this spring.

Samantha Pierre-Joseph shows her smart meter indicating how many kWh (kilowatt-hour) she has used already in one day, and how much it has cost her, in her house in London, on December 13, 2022. - Pierre-Joseph, 40, who lives with her grown-up daughter, was recently switched to a prepay meter by her supplier. She now pays more for electricity and gas than the old direct-debit payment system to heat her house, worsening the cost-of-living crisis as prices of food and other essentials also soar. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Millions of households on low incomes will receive new cost-of-living support. (Getty)

Millions of households on low incomes will receive new cost-of-living support this spring to help with spiralling bills, it has been announced.

The government is hoping to ease the burden of those most in need by offering them the £900 cash support - a move revealed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Tuesday.

The money will go directly to bank accounts of over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants in three payments.

This round of support was previously unveiled in the autumn statement, building on payments made to more than eight million people in 2022.

We’ve put together a list of everything you need to know regarding the latest cost of living payments.

Read more: Cost of living payments for 2023 will leave families ‘worse off’, say campaigners

A British government advert offering people help with winter energy bills is seen on the side of a bus in Stockport, Britain, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Phil Noble
New help is being offered on top of the payments made last year. (Reuters)

Am I eligible for cost of living payments?

The £900 support will be available for over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants, including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.

The government said payments to those who are eligible will generally be automatic, so there will be no need to apply.

Claimants who are eligible for any of the cost-of-living payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shortly after DWP payments are issued.

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When will the payments be made?

The payments will be made up of three slightly different amounts relating to specific qualifying periods, making it easier to determine if someone has received the correct money, the DWP added.

There will also be a separate £150 payment for more than six million people with disabilities and £300 for over eight million pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.

Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, the government said, adding that payments will be spread to ensure consistent support throughout the year.

The payments will be broadly as follows:

£301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023

£150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023

£300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023

£300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4

£299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

Scene relating to the crisis in domestic energy prices.Female hands checking over the figures.
The payments from spring will be made up of three slightly different amounts. (Getty)

What to do if you haven't received a payment you are entitled to

A support payment of up to £1,100 was paid to over eight million households in 2022 to help with the rising cost of living.

People on means-tested benefits received a £650 payment over two dates, in July (£326) and from 8 November (£324).

Those eligible for the £300 “pensioner cost of living payment” should have received it in November or December.

A one-off £150 payment was also given to people receiving disability payments in September.

Those who have not received any of these payments but are entitled to them may fall into three categories.

You may not be eligible, so please check on to see if you meet the criteria.

If you’ve applied for a benefit or are appealing a decision against you and are successful, then you will automatically receive the cost of living payment.

If you think you fit the requirements and have still not received the money, then you can report a missing payment here.

Pensioners who have not received their payments by 13 January should contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.