HOUSEHOLDS on certain benefits, including Universal Credit, will start receiving a £300 cost of living payment from today.
Those eligible for the tax-free payment won't have to do anything as payments are being made automatically.
The full list of benefits that qualify people for the payment is:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based jobseekers allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Pension credit
You need to have been entitled to a payment for any of the qualifying benefits above between August 18 and September 17 to be eligible for the free cash.
If you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between the same dates you will also be eligible for the payment too.
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Households on tax credits only will receive their payment from HMRC between November 10 and 19.
This is to ensure that those on other benefits and tax credits will not get the payment twice.
The payment reference for bank accounts will be the recipient’s National Insurance number followed by DWP COL or HMRC COLS.
For example, if your NI number is JT 83 42 97B your payment will show up as "JT 83 42 97B DWP COLP" or "JT 83 42 97B HMRC COLP" on your bank statement.
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The £300 payment is the second of three payments that form the £900 support.
The first instalment worth £301 was paid out to over eight million households in April and May.
The final £299 cost of living payment will be made in the spring of 2024.
It follows the £650 cost of living payment made to over eight million people in 2022.
Will I miss out if I apply for a qualifying benefit now?
Households that apply for some benefits can have their payments backdated depending on their circumstances.
For example, over 1.4million pensioners receive pension credit which makes them eligible for the £300 cost of living payment.
But there are 850,000 more pensioners eligible for the benefit who aren't claiming it.
This means that they risk missing out on the next two cost of living payments worth £300 in the autumn and £299 in the spring of 2024.
To get the first payment, you will need to have been in receipt of at least one of seven benefits, including pension credit, between August 18 and September 17 to be eligible for the free cash.
It doesn't matter if you were only eligible for a day – as long as this day was within the qualifying period you'll get the cost of living payment.
The same rule applies to fresh pension credit claims which can be backdated by up to three months.
This means that thousands more people could become eligible for the cash by applying for the benefit now.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told The Sun that households eligible but not claiming pension credit should put in a claim by December 10.
This will ensure that any payments can be backdated and fall within the qualifying period for the £300 cost of living payment.
If you put in your claim any later than this – the DWP may be unable to process your claim in time.
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And if you miss the deadline your claim won't be backdated all the way back to the qualifying period, so you'll miss out on the cash.
We've previously explained how to apply for pension credit.
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