Cost of Living Help

This briefing includes information on:

  • Government cost of living payments for 2022
  • Government cost of living payments for 2023/2024
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • Household Support Fund
  • Help with certain disability related costs
  • Details of wider types of general support for disabled people
  • Benefit calculators
  • Information on the different general types of cost of living support
  • Free telephone and email advice and support
  • Details of independent advice organisations across the UK

 

Contents

Government cost of living payments for 2022

Government cost of living payments for 2023/2024

Other cost of living help

Cold Weather Payments

Household Support Fund

Other help with the cost of living information resources

Help with certain disability related costs

Details of wider types of general support for disabled people

Information on the different general types of cost of living support

Free telephone and email advice and support

Details of independent advice organisations across the UK

 

Government cost of living payments for 2022

The Government’s 2022 support cost of living support payments were automatically made to those who qualified and have now all been paid.

However, those who believe they should have got an award but didn’t receive on can use this form to report a missing 2022 cost of living payment

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Government cost of living payments for 2023/2024

Claimants will get up to £1,350 in cost of living payments in 2023/2024, with the timetable for payments now announced by the government.

Over 8 million claimants will get £900 in three payments, whilst 6 million disability benefit will get an additional £150 and 8 million pensioners will get £300 in addition to their winter fuel payments.

For 2023/2024, the DWP has said that a new £900 “cash boost” will be paid as before to eligible means-tested benefits claimants, including those on:

  • universal credit
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • income support
  • pension credit
  • child tax credit
  • working tax credit

Payments will start in Spring 2023 and  will go direct to bank accounts in three payments over the course of the financial year.

There will also be a separate £150 to disabled people who receive:

  • disability living allowance,
  • personal independence payment,
  • attendance allowance,
  • Scottish disability benefits,
  • armed forces independence payment,
  • constant attendance allowance
  • war pension mobility supplement

In addition, £300 will be given to pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.

These payments will all be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

While exact payment dates will be announced closer to the time, they will be “spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year”.

The first Cost of Living payments were made as follows:

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – was made between 25 April and 17 May 2023 for most people 
  • £150 – Disability Payment – was made between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023
  • Those eligible for the new payments should not have to apply as they will be paid automatically by the DWP. 

Find out how to report a missing Cost of Living Payment, if you think you should have had one of the following payments.

The DWP will make the second 2023 Cost of Living payment of £300 to eligible customers between 31 October and 19 November.  

This is the second of three payments over the financial year, totalling up to £900. Eligible pensioner households will also receive a further £300 payment later this year as an addition to the Winter Fuel payment. 

Eligible tax credits-only customers who do not qualify for a payment from DWP will receive £300 from HMRC between 10 and 19 November. 

Claimants will receive the payments automatically. They do not need to contact DWP or do anything to receive the payment 

The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the upcoming Cost of Living payment are those who receive: 

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance 
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

The qualifying period for this payment is between 18 August to 17 September 2023. 

To be eligible for the payment, claimants need to have been entitled to a payment for one of these benefits between 18 August and 17 September, or payment for an assessment period ending between these dates. 

The DWP has highlighted that low-income pensioners who not already getting pension credit should check their eligibility as, due to the backdating rules, they could still qualify for this second payment, as well as the third payment that is due in Spring 2024. 

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment 

If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023. 

The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment (including the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) you will get for winter 2023 to 2024 depends on when you were born and your circumstances during the qualifying dates. 

You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 25 September 1957. 

This guidance will be updated with the qualifying dates for the payment when they are published. 

You will be sent a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get if you’re eligible. 

Those eligible for the new payments should not have to apply as they will be paid automatically by the DWP.

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Other cost of living help

Cold Weather Payments

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.

You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.

You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Check if you can get a payment in your area.

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Household Support Fund

Help with essential costs may be available from your local council.

This could help if you’re struggling to afford things like:

  • energy and water bills
  • food
  • essential items

You do not have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council.

Authorities should consider providing support to disabled people in their area.

Disabled people in particular may be facing acute challenges due to the disproportionate impact that rising costs bring for the additional services they need in order to manage their conditions, remain independent and avoid becoming socially isolated.

For example, some disabled people may have increased utility bills due to the usage of equipment, aids or adaptations associated with their disability.

They may also have additional heating, water or transport costs. Authorities are therefore encouraged to explore ways in which this group may be supported and must record the total value of awards granted to disabled people

If you get benefits, they will not be affected if you get a payment from a Household Support Fund scheme.

For more information see Get help with the cost of living from your local council available from gov.uk.

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Other help with the cost of living information resources

Help with certain disability related costs:

If you use an oxygen machine as part of your home oxygen therapy, Baywater Healthcare, on behalf of the NHS, will refund you for any electricity your machine uses.

Non-Residential Charges: Paying towards the cost of your care and support at home available from disabilityrightsuk.org.

Household gadgets and equipment to make life easier available from nhs.uk.

Household Support Fund grants available from gov.uk.

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Details of wider types of general support for disabled people:

What you can claim available from disabilityrightsuk.org

Type of benefits you can claim available from disabilityrightsuk.org

Help for Households available from gov.uk

Benefits calculator available from disabilityrightsuk.org

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Information on the different general types of cost of living support:

Debt advice services available from turn2us.org.uk.

Getting extra support from your energy supplier available from citizensadvice.org.uk.

Stop your energy supplier moving you to prepayment meter

available from citizensadvice.org.uk.

Financial support with energy and water bills available from turn2us.org.uk.

Help with gas and electricity bills available from scope.org.uk.

Report a missing Cost of Living Payment available from gov.uk.

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Free telephone and email advice and support:

Scope's helpline for disabled people and their families: 

Phone: 0808 800 3333

Email: helpline@scope.org.uk

 

Details of independent advice organisations across the UK: 

Find a local independent advice agency available from advicelocal.uk

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Other information we provide

Format: 17/06/2024
Format: 17/06/2024
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