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Households on low incomes will start to receive a £299 cost-of-living payment from today.
It is the third of up to three payments totalling up to £900 paid to eligible households on means-tested benefits over 2023/24 and comes as part of a support package that has been helping households since autumn 2021.
Households receiving tax credits only will receive payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between February 16 and 22.
The payments will be sent out automatically and recipients do not need to apply to receive them.
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The economy has turned a corner, and with inflation falling we are providing millions of the most vulnerable households with another significant cash boost.”
Eight million people on means-tested benefits are now receiving their final cost-of-living payment to help with high prices and bills.
Payments will be made across the UK by the DWP between February 6 and 22.
The payment will be made separately from someone’s benefit payments.
The UK Government said it will continue to support vulnerable people with the cost of living from April by uprating benefits in line with inflation by 6.7 percent and maintaining the triple lock and increasing the state pension by 8.5 percent, among other measures.
People can check the Help for Households website to see what cost-of-living schemes are available.
To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment from DWP, people need to have been entitled to a payment for a qualifying benefit between November 13 and December 12 last year, or payment for an assessment period, ending between these dates.
From HMRC, people need to have received a payment of tax credits for any day in the period between November 13 and December 12.
If a household becomes retrospectively entitled to a Cost of Living Payment, or believes they are entitled but do not receive one, they can report this via gov.uk from February 23.
The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the third Cost of Living Payment are those who are eligible and receive at least one of the following:
- Universal Credit;
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Income Support;
- Working Tax Credit;
- Child Tax Credit;
- Pension Credit
Those on low incomes and receiving benefits such as Universal Credit are eligible, but they should be wary of scams in which fraudsters use the opportunity to try to personal details.
They often purport to be from government bodies. Some are designed to capture financial information.
The official payment reference for bank accounts will be the recipient’s National Insurance Number followed by DWP COL or HMRC COLS.
UK Government minister for Scotland John Lamont said: “This crucial cost-of-living payment will benefit more than 680,000 people across Scotland.”
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “Over 400,000 households in Wales will be receiving this payment directly into their bank accounts to help them with the cost of living.”
According to figures released by the Insolvency Service last week, the number of people needing breathing space from their debts jumped by 25 percent in 2023 compared with the previous year.
Across England and Wales, there were 88,390 registered breathing spaces in 2023, comprised of 86,928 standard and 1,462 mental health breathing space registrations, the Insolvency Service said.
A standard breathing space is available to people with problem debt and gives legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days.
A mental health crisis breathing space is available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment. It lasts as long as the person’s mental health crisis treatment, plus 30 days.