Low-income households are set to receive new cost of living support payments from this spring, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed. The DWP has issued further details on the payments after they were previously announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement.
More than eight million people received cost of living support in 2022. Mr Hunt said that the most vulnerable households will continue to receive help this year in the form of new cost of living payments which includes a £900 boost for claimants on means tested benefits.
Who is eligible for cost of living support payments in 2023?
Those who receive any of the following DWP benefit payments will be eligible to receive the support in 2023:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
What will I get if I’m eligible for a cost of living support payment in 2023?
The £900 payment will be paid in three instalments into bank accounts, with the first landing in the spring, the DWP said. The payment will be made of slightly different amounts, relating to specific qualifying periods - making it simpler to determine if someone has received the correct payments.
A separate £150 payment for more than six million people with disabilities will also be issued, plus a £300 payment for over eight million pensioner households on top of their Winter Fuel Payments. The government said exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, adding that payments will be spread out to ensure consistent support throughout the year.
The payment schedule will be set out as follows:
- a first cost-of-living payment of £301 made in spring 2023
- a £150 disability payment during summer 2023
- a £300 second cost-of-living payment in autumn 2003
- a £300 pensioner payment during winter 2023/4
- a third cost-of-living payment of £299 made in spring 2024
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We are sticking by our promise to protect the most vulnerable and these payments, worth hundreds of pounds, will provide vital support next year for those on the lowest incomes.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt added: “I know these are tough times for families across the UK who are struggling to meet rising food and energy costs, driven by the aftershocks of Covid and Putin’s war in Ukraine. That’s why we’re putting a further £900 into the pockets of over eight million low income households next year.
“These payments are on top of above-inflation increases to working-age benefits and the energy price guarantee, which is insulating millions from even higher global gas prices. Tackling inflation is this government’s number one priority and is the only way to ease the strain of high prices, drive long-term economic growth and improve living standards for everyone.”
How will payments be made?
The government said payments to those who are eligible will generally be automatic, so there will be no need to apply. People are being urged to be wary of scammers sending fake cost of living messages in a bid to steal personal information. Claimants who are eligible for any of the cost of living payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shortly after DWP payments are issued.
Benefits, including working age benefits and the state pension, will rise in line with inflation from April 2023, ensuring they increase by over 10%. April will also see the biggest ever cash rise to the National Living Wage, bringing it to £10.42 an hour, the government said.
The 2022 support package included a £650 cost of living payment for means-tested benefit claimants which was split into two payments, plus payments for people with disabilities and pensioners. A £400 energy bill discount for households will continue to run through to March.
More information about the government’s cost of living support and what is available can be found on the Help for Households campaign website.