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Cost of Living Payments

You may be eligible for extra payments to help with living costs if you get certain benefits or tax credits.

If you're eligible, you do not need to apply. You'll be paid automatically in the same way you get your benefits. You may find that you’re eligible for more than 1 payment.

These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you receive.

Low-income benefits and tax credits

You may be eligible for Cost of Living Payments worth £650 in total if you get a low-income benefit like:

  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit

Or if you get tax credits, which include:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

For low-income benefits including Pension Credit, you’ll get the first payment of £326 by the end of July 2022.

For tax credits, you’ll get the first payment of £326 in autumn 2022.

The government has not announced dates for the second payments of £324 yet.

If you’re unsure which type of ESA you get, check your decision letter.

You can also call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 169 0310.  

Eligibility for the first payment

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) looks at the period between 26 April and 25 May 2022 to check if you’re eligible. You are eligible if, during this time, you either:

  • were entitled to 1 of the qualifying benefits 
  • were entitled to a Universal Credit payment for an assessment period that ended
  • received a payment of tax credits for any day
  • received an annual award of tax credits that is at least £26

If you get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment for Child Tax Credit only.

If you have a joint benefit claim with a partner, you’ll get 1 payment of £326 between you if you’re eligible.  

Warning Help with living costs

Call Scope’s helpline for free advice on managing your bills and getting the support you need.

Check if you’re eligible for other government support (GOV.UK)

Help with gas and electricity bills

Free food and food banks

Supporting your mental health

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is important. There are many things you can try. Everyone manages their mental health differently. Find out what support there is for you.

Managing your mental health

Disability Cost of Living Payment

You may get a lump sum payment of £150 from September 2022 if you get:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

You’re eligible if you got a payment for 1 of these benefits for 25 May 2022.

If you and your child get 1 of these benefits, you should get a lump sum for each claim.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

You’ll get an extra £300 for your household from November 2022 if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment. This extra money will be added to your bank account.

You can get this payment as well as other Cost of Living Payments.

Check if you’re eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment.

Getting more than 1 payment

You may be eligible to receive more than 1 Cost of Living Payments for yourself or for your child.

Each person in your household who receives these benefits should be eligible for a payment.

Here are some examples:

A couple gets Universal Credit jointly, and they each get PIP.

They should receive:

  • £650 Low-income Cost of Living Payment jointly, paid in 2 lump sums
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for each person

A parent gets Universal Credit, and their child gets DLA.

They should receive:

  • £650 Low-income Cost of Living Payment
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for their child

A person gets Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance.

They should receive:

  • £650 Low-income Cost of Living Payment
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
  • £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

If your payment does not arrive

Check your bank statement for a payment called ‘DWP Cost of Living’.

If you do not get a payment, use this form to report a missing Cost of Living Payment.

Contact Scope's helpline if you are having problems.

If you’re not eligible

You are not eligible for a Cost of Living Payment if you only get:

  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

There is no way to appeal if you are not eligible for a Cost of Living Payment.

Contact the office that pays your benefits if you feel you should be eligible to explain why.

You can also contact your local MP if you disagree with the eligibility for the payments.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 02/08/2022

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