New cost of living payments to start on 25 April – here’s who qualifies, how much you’ll get and if you need to apply

Millions of the UK’s poorest households will start to receive the first third of their £900 cost of living payment from 25 April, the Government has confirmed today. Here’s all you need to know on whether you’re eligible and when you’ll get your payment.

The £900 grant – which you DON’T need to apply for – will be delivered in three chunks of slightly different amounts, all of which will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap and will not have any impact on your existing benefits.

If you’re struggling, see our Cost of living survival guide, which is full of useful tips on how to cut costs.

When you’ll be paid the first £301 cost of living payment

The £301 payment will start hitting the bank accounts of qualifying households in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales from 25 April, with most payments being made by 17 May.

However, if you ONLY claim child tax credit or working tax credit, your payment will come “shortly after” the others, according to the Government. We’ll update this when the exact dates are announced.

Key benefit qualifying dates for getting the new payment

To get the £301, you need to have been paid (or been eligible for a payment of) one of the benefits listed below for any day between 26 January 2023 and 25 February 2023.

This means that you may be eligible for this new payment even if you didn’t get last year’s £650 payment

If you’re on low-income benefits, such as universal credit, you’re entitled to the cost of living payment

You are eligible for the cost of living payment if you are entitled to any of the following:

  • Child tax credit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit – unless your universal credit was reduced to £0 for the entire period between 26 January to 25 February 2023. This is sometimes called a ‘nil award’ and can happen where you or your partner’s earnings or savings go up, you start getting another benefit or you get paid more than one set of wages within that period.
  • Working tax credit

Payments will be automatic and you DON’T need to apply – beware scammers saying otherwise

If you qualify for these cost of living payments, you don’t need to apply. You’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits or tax credits.

Watch out for texts or emails inviting you to claim or apply for the payment – they’re scams. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it’ll never ask you for personal details or banking info over text or email.

Also be warned that if you get a cost of living payment and the DWP later finds you weren’t eligible, you may have to pay it back.

More cost of living payments will follow later in the year – including for people with disabilities and pensioners

In 2023/24, there are three different cost of living payments available. Depending on your personal circumstances you could be eligible for one, two, or all three – meaning some will get £1,350 in total.  

If you’re on low-income benefits, you’ll get up to £900 – paid from next month

If you’re one of eight million households who get the means-tested benefits listed above, you could get up to £900 in cost of living payments paid out in three instalments:

  • £301 – from 25 April 2023
  • £300 – during autumn 2023 (payment and eligibility dates yet to be confirmed)
  • £299 – during spring 2024 (payment and eligibility dates yet to be confirmed)

Each amount is slightly different so it’s easier for the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC to clearly track whether you’ve been paid the right payment at the correct time.

If you claim certain disability benefits, you’ll get £150 – paid in summer 2023

If you’re one of six million people who get certain disability benefits you could get a £150 one-off payment paid in summer 2023. You can get this on top of the up to £900 means-tested cost of living payment, and/or the £300 pensioner payment. 

You’ll get this payment if you’re on any of the following benefits – though again, we don’t yet know the exact payment or eligibility dates:

  • Adult disability payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed forces independence payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Child disability payment (in Scotland)
  • Constant attendance allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • War pension mobility supplement

If you’re above state pension age, you’ll get £300 – paid in winter 2023/24

If you’re entitled to winter fuel payment, and are above state pension age (aged 66 and over), you’ll get a top-up of £300 in winter 2023/24.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a letter in October or November 2023 telling you how much your total winter fuel payment will be.

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