DWP confirms new evaluation of cost of living payments after query from MP

A general view of a pile of bank notes

The DWP has announced an ongoing evaluation of the Cost of Living Payments to assess their impact on low-income and vulnerable individuals. This follows a query from Labour MP Navendu Mishra, who inquired about the "average financial impact per claimant of the discontinuation of Disability Cost of Living Payments".

In 2022 and 2023, over six million people receiving disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), Attendance Allowance, and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) were given one-off payments of £150. These payments were part of the government's strategy to support disabled individuals amid the cost of living crisis.

Last week, Mims Davies MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, responded in writing that "no estimate has been made about the discontinuation of Disability Cost of Living Payments". She noted that approximately 60% of disabled persons also received £900 in means-tested Cost of Living Payments during the 2023/24 fiscal year.

Ms Davies highlighted: "As of April 2024, the rate of inflation has slowed, and the Government has also implemented uprating to benefits to reflect increased costs. We also increased extra costs disability benefits by 10.1 per cent from April 2023 and by 6.7 per cent from April 2024 in line with the Consumer Price Index."

"For 2023/24 we estimate that nearly 60 per cent of individuals who received an extra costs disability benefit would have received the means-tested benefit Cost of Living Payments, worth up to £900. Over 85 per cent would have received either or both of the means-tested and the £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

"An evaluation of the Cost of Living Payments is underway. This will seek to understand their effectiveness as a means of support for low-income and vulnerable households."

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently dismissed suggestions from an online petition which called for additional cost of living support for low-income and vulnerable households during the financial year of 2024/25, reports the Daily Record..

Despite the final Cost of Living Payment of £299 being distributed to approximately eight million homes across Great Britain in February, petitioner William Conway argues that further assistance is necessary throughout the year.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Will expressed his concerns: "The cost of living isn't going away and will still be here throughout 24/25. Many households are now faced with higher bills not just in the energy sector but groceries, broadband, mobile and public transport."

While acknowledging the provision of £104 billion over the period of 2022-25 to aid with living costs, the DWP stated it has "no plans to extend cost of living payments" but will "keep all measures under constant review".

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a written response on the petitions-parliament website, affirming: "The Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the most vulnerable by providing one of the largest support packages in Europe."

"Taken together, support to households to help with the high cost of living is worth £104 billion over 2022/23 to 2024/25, which includes, among other support, two rounds of means-tested Cost of Living Payments, Disability Cost of Living Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments over 2022/23 and 2023/24. Targeting support for the most vulnerable and those on the lowest incomes."

The statement goes on to say: "Cost of Living Payments enabled us to target immediate further support during the rising cost of living pressures. Delivering lump sum payments provided assistance quickly, reflecting our commitment to giving direct and timely relief to those who need it most."

The 'Extend cost of living payments to low income households beyond February 2024' petition has garnered over 19,300 signatures. Should it reach 100,000 signatures, the Petitions Committee will consider it for debate in Parliament.