Cost of living support payments will help more than eight million households in the UK (Photo: Caia Image via Getty Images)
Millions of Brits are eligible to receive a lump sum from July to help tackle the cost of living crisis as it tightens its grip across the UK.
With energy bills shooting up along with the cost of petrol and groceries, inflation is at 9% – and it’s even higher for the UK’s poorest households.
With the first substantial payment on the horizon, here’s how you can find out if you’re eligible and how to claim.
Who is eligible for the £650 payment?
More than eight million households in the UK are expected to benefit from this £650 sum, which you can put on bills or living costs.
It is intended for those households already on means-tested benefits. This is when the government gives you a set amount of money based on your income and your capital.
It includes anyone who receives:
Income-based jobseekers allowance
Income-related employment and support allowance
The one-off payment is divided into two parts – a £326 set to arrive between July 14 and the end of the month, and an additional £324 later on in the autumn.
If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will only receive £650 in total.
It is tax free, will not impact the benefit cap and does not impact current benefits. Everyone will receive the full payment if they are on benefits, even if they only receive the lowest amount possible.
However, if you are outside of the income bracket for Universal Credit these extra grants will not be available to you.
Why tax credits are slightly different
The £650 payment is also available for anyone who receives:
Working tax credit
Child tax credit
While it does still involve receiving money from the government, it is separate from benefits. It means the government reduces the amount you pay in taxes. The scheme is also managed by HMRC, not the work and pensions department.
The £650 payment is therefore slightly different for those qualify through a one-off payment through tax credit and working tax credit, as both instalments will arrive in autumn and winter.
The government website also explains: “You will not get a payment if you have already received a cost of living payment from HMRC because you were entitled to tax credits.”
How do you apply?
This payment will be issued directly to households on means-tested benefits, and so will arrive automatically in their bank balance.
There is no need to apply.
The payment will only go to those who were entitled to a payment or later found to be entitled to such a payment by May 25, 2022.
What other support is available?
The government is releasing a £400 boost for every UK household’s energy bill. This is a grant which means it does not need to be paid back, and will go straight onto smart metres, onto customer accounts of received through vouchers. This payment is spread out over six months.
There’s also an extra payment for pensioners of £300 to help pay for winter fuel in November of December. This payment is also automatic.
A one-off disability cost of living payment of £150 is also available for those on means tested benefits, and will be sent to claimants in September.
Both the payments for disabled people and pensioners will come on top of the £650 one-off sum.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.