Cost of living payments worth hundreds of pounds will arrive in millions of people’s bank accounts from Wednesday.
In addition, more than 11 million pensioners will receive regular winter fuel payments over the next two months to help with their energy bills. They will also receive an extra £300 cost of living payment per household.
A million people on tax credits can also expect to see a second cost of living payment arrive in their bank accounts over the next week.
The latest payments are in addition to the £400 energy bills discount being distributed to every household and the energy price guarantee, which caps the amount that suppliers can charge.
Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride said ministers “want to do everything we can to support pensioners, who are often the most exposed to higher costs”.
“As we deal with the impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic, we will continue to stand by the most vulnerable, with further cost of living payments coming next year,” he added.
“This extra payment is just one part of the wider support package we’re delivering to help with rising bills, including the biggest state pension increase in history.”
The second payment is being transferred into people’s bank accounts in all four UK nations, without them having to do anything.
Eligible people with disabilities will also have received the £150 disability cost of living payment last month.
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 has been going out this month. The Government said on November 15 that more than seven million payments of £324 have already been distributed. Some people not on DWP benefits may also receive the second cost of living payment if they get tax credits and no other eligible benefits.
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
When are people getting the payments?
The first instalment of the £650 automatically landed in bank accounts last 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 in many cases will have already received the second payment. This £324 government payment will be paid automatically into eligible people’s bank accounts.
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.