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Cost of living: What payments are available and how do you claim?

Millions of people are now receiving the next round of payments to help with rising bills, as a committee of MPs investigate the fairness of the scheme.

Low -income households, pensioners and some disabled people will receive additional cost-of-living funds following an extension to the scheme from last year.

MPs are studying whether the design of the payments system has supported those most in need.

What cost-of-living payments will be available?

Some groups will receive payments to help with higher bills, including:

  • £900 in total in three instalments in spring, autumn and spring 2024 to households on means-tested benefits
  • £300 for pensioner households in the winter
  • £150 to people on certain disability benefits, paid in the summer

The first instalment of £301 for those on means-tested benefits will be made between 25 April and 17 May.

Who is eligible for the £900?

The payment, in three instalments, is available to households who receive the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit

The payment reference on a recipient's bank account will be their national insurance number, followed by DWP COL.

DWP: Full list of how much your Universal Credit, State Pension and other benefits will go up by in April

Millions of families who receive benefits or state pensions will soon see their payments rise significantly.

The 1.1 million people who receive only tax credits, rather than any of the other benefits, may be paid slightly later than others, starting on 2 May.

People are not eligible for these payments if they receive New Style Employment and Support Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or New Style Jobseeker's Allowance - unless they get Universal Credit.

Anyone who thinks they should have received the help but did not should contact the office that pays their benefit or tax credits

To qualify for the next instalment, people had to have claimed a benefits payment between 26 January and 25 February 2023, or received a payment for an assessment period ending between these dates. Pensioner households may be able to have a new pension credit claim backdated.

An estimated 850,000 pensioner households do not claim pension credit, which is a gateway to these extra payments.

None of these cost-of-living payments affect the tax you pay, or the benefits or tax credits you receive.

What cost-of-living payments have people already received?

Two payments totalling £650 have been made to more than eight million low-income households.

The first instalment of £326 was paid between 14 and 31 July. The second instalment of £324 should have reached those eligible by the end of December.

Payments of £300 were also paid to pensioners during the winter just gone, and a £150 payment was also made last year to those with disabilities.

Some people would have received all of those payments, if they were eligible.

What other support has been available?

Everyone's energy bill was cut by at least £400 during last winter.

This was applied over six months, with a £66 reduction in October and November, and a £67 discount every month between December and March.

The discount was made automatically by energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales. However, there are no plans so far for this to be repeated next winter.

Separate arrangements were made for households in Northern Ireland, which has its own energy market. They are receiving a single payment of £600 starting in January, which is higher than the rest of the UK because a higher proportion of households use heating oil.

Direct debit customers in Northern Ireland are having the money paid into their bank accounts. Other customers will be sent a voucher.

What help are disabled people getting?

Up to six million people on the following disability benefits will receive another £150 later in the year:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Payments
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

What extra help will pensioners get?

Households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment - which is worth £200-£300 and is paid to nearly all homes with at least one person of pension age - should have received an extra £300 in November or December.

That should cover nearly all pensioners across the UK. Another additional cost-of-living payment of £300 will be made next winter.

Lower-income pensioners who claim pension credit receive the money in addition to the support provided for those on benefits.

This means a small group of pensioners with disabilities have already received a total of £1,500, with more to come.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced last November that State Pension, disability and working age benefits will go up by 10.1 percent from April. This is in line with the rate of inflation in the Autumn which cost the UK Government a staggering £11 billion.

Here is a full list of increases for State Pensions and benefits according to the website:

Universal Credit

Standard Allowance

  • Single under 25 - £292.11 from £265.31
  • Single 25 and over - £368.74 from £334.91


  • Joint claimants both under 25 - £458.51 from £416.45
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over - £578.82 from £525.72

Attendance Allowance

  • Higher rate - £101.75 from £92.40
  • Lower rate - £68.10 from £61.85

Carter's Allowance

  • April 2023 rate - £76.75 from £69.70

Disability Living Allowance/ Child Disability Payment

Care component

  • Highest - £101.75 from £92.40
  • Middle - £68.10 from £61.85
  • Lowest - £26.90 from £24.45

Mobility component

  • Highest - £71.00 from £64.50
  • Lowest - £26.90 from £24.45

Employment and Support Allowance

  • Under 25 - £67.20 from £61.05
  • 25 and over - £84.50 from £77.00

Incapacity Benefit (long-term)

  • April 2023 rate - £130.20 from £118.25

Income Support

  • Under 25 - £67.20 from £61.05
  • 25 and over - £84.80 from £77.00

Jobseekers Allowance (contributions based)

  • Under 25 - £67.20 from £61.05
  • 25 and over - £84.80 from £77.00

Jobseekers Allowance (income-based)

  • Under 25 - £67.25 from £61.05
  • 25 and over - £84.80 from £77.00

Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental Allowance

  • Standard rate - £172.48 from £156.66

Pension Credit

  • Single - £201.05 from £182.60
  • Couple - £306.85 from £278.70

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) / Adult Disability payment

Daily Living Component

  • Enhanced - £101.75 from £62.40
  • Couple - £306.85 from £278.70

Mobility Component

  • Enhanced - £71.00 from £64.50
  • Standard - £26.90 from £24.45

State Pension

  • Full New State Pension - £203.85 from £185.15
  • Basic Old State Pension (Category A or B) - £150.20 from £141.85

Widow’s Pension

  • Standard rate - £139.10 from £126.35.

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