Getting as much financial support as possible is paramount for millions of Brits as the cost of living crisis keeps prices, whether that be energy bills or groceries, on the rise
Millions of Brits are looking for as much financial support as possible amid the cost of living crisis – and the Government is dishing out support to help.
Those on low incomes could receive as much as £1,350 in total this year. In the UK, around eight million Brits are eligible for cost of living aid based on the benefits they receive. These include people on Universal Credit, pension credit and tax credits.
Around six million people with disabilities in the UK have already received a £150 cost of living payment over the summer. While more than eight million pensioners are set to get an additional £300 in the winter.
As part of the government’s latest cost of living support payment scheme, which started earlier this year, millions will soon be handed a £300 instalment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer first announced a package of measures on 17 November 2022 worth £26 billion to support people in the financial year 2023 to 2024 with cost of living pressures.
The announced package includes Cost of Living Payments of up to £900 for households on eligible means-tested benefits. A separate £300 payment will be made to pensioner households and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment. Below is a run down of all the payments eligible people can expect between now and the end of the year.
Pensioner cost of living payment and Winter Fuel Payments
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. You will be sent a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get if you’re eligible.
If you live alone or no one you live with is eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, you’ll get either:
- £500 if you were born between 26 September 1942 and 25 September 1956
- £600 if you were born before 26 September 1942
The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of up to £300 will be paid as an increase to Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024. There are three payments to recipients of means-tested benefit:
- One of £301 paid during spring 2023
- One of £300 paid during autumn 2023
- One of £299 paid during spring 2024
Cold Weather Payment
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- 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 seven consecutive days. For every seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31, you will receive £25.
The 2023 to 2024 scheme will start next month, November 1. The scheme does not include Scotland, as the nation has the Winter Heating Payment, which is a yearly payment of £50 that’s paid automatically.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.
You’ll usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible. You only need to apply if you’re on a low income in Scotland. If you might be eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024. If you do not get a letter and you think you’re eligible, you must contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29 February 2024.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. Contact your supplier to find out.
There are different ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depending on where you live. If you live in England and Wales, you qualify if you either:
- Get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
- Are on a low income and have high energy costs.
You can still qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter. Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter. You apply a different way if you live in a park home.
DWP Christmas bonus
The Christmas Bonus is a one-off tax-free £10 payment made before Christmas, paid to people who get certain benefits in the qualifying week. This is normally the first full week of December. You do not need to claim – you should get paid automatically.
You must also get at least one of the following benefits in the ‘qualifying week’ – this is normally the first full week of December:
- Adult Disability Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Disability Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate
- Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
- Mobility Supplement
- Pension Credit – the guarantee element
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
- Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
- Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
- War Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
If you have not claimed your State Pension and are not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits you will not get a Christmas bonus.
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