The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued an update to people who have not yet received the second instalment of the £650 cost of living payment. The cash boost is being paid by the Government to people on means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit to help with soaring energy and food costs.
The first instalment of £326 was paid to those eligible in July, and the DWP said that more than 99% of claimants across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have received the second payment of £324 since the rollout on Tuesday, November 8.
A further one million families eligible solely through tax credits will receive their payment between 23 and 30 November. The DWP added that people who have not yet received their payment shouldn’t be concerned, as it expects some payments may take until November 23 to come through.
After this date, a gov.uk page for reporting missing cost of living payments will become available and the DWP will begin processing claims to ensure outstanding payments reach people as quickly as possible.
There are also a small number of cases where an automated payment has not been possible, for example Universal Credit cases where benefit payments are split between a couple, or where the emergency payment system (EPS) cannot recognise their claim details. A dedicated team of agents are currently working through these cases to pay them manually.
Work and Pensions secretary Mel Stride said: “This Government promised to protect those on the lowest incomes, and it is great to be able to confirm today that we have delivered on this commitment with our latest Cost of Living Payment reaching over seven million households in the last week alone.
“This payment is just part of a wider support package the Government has provided, with millions of families benefiting from a Council Tax rebate and pensioners across the country receiving winter fuel support as the weather gets colder and disabled people getting help with additional costs they face. We will continue to support the most vulnerable as we deal with the impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said: “We know families are struggling with the rising prices caused by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. That is why we’ve delivered over £7m cash payments directly into the bank accounts of the most vulnerable households in just one week and will make over a million more to those on tax credits later this month.
“This is part of the £1,200 cash support we’re giving to the poorest members of society during this difficult period. In the Autumn Statement we will continue to prioritise helping the most vulnerable, as we make the tough decisions needed to drive down inflation and fix our public finances.”
Who is eligible to receive the £650 cost of living payment?
To be eligible for the £324 cost of living payment, claimants must have been entitled to one of the qualifying benefits between August 26 and September 25, with the exception of pensioner households, who may be able to have a new Pension Credit claim backdated.
Pensioners have until December 18 to submit a valid claim for Pension Credit, which could entitle them to the £324 Cost of Living Payment. Anyone can check their eligibility for Pension Credit using this online calculator or by calling the freephone claim line (0800 99 1234).
Even if you are not on a qualifying DWP benefit you may still be eligible for the £324 payment, as HMRC is also making payments to over one million families who only receive Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. These will be automatically paid into bank accounts between November 23 and 30.
Those eligible do not need to contact the government or apply for the payment at any stage. Payments will appear on bank statements with a reference including the recipients National Insurance number followed by:
- ‘DWP COL’ for those on DWP means-tested benefits
- ‘HMRC COLS’ for those on tax credits only
This is the second instalment of the £650 Cost of Living Payment – part of the Government’s £37 billion support package for households – with millions also benefiting from the £400 grant to help with energy bills and 85% of households in bands A to D receiving the £150 Council Tax rebate.
On top of this, nearly one in 10 people have received the Government’s additional £150 disability payment this autumn, and an estimated eight million pensioner households will receive an extra £300 in their Winter Fuel Payments this winter.