As the cost of living crisis continues, more financial help for the elderly and those on low incomes is incoming.
The potentially good news is that falling gas prices could mean energy bills won’t soar to the terrifying heights predicted last year – but they are still expected to be very high.
And experts are now warning the UK is on the verge of a recession, with staff shortages, industrial disputes, the cost of living crisis and high interest rates all contributing.
So what government help is available, who is eligible for it and do you need to apply?
Here’s what you need to know.
‘Up to £900’ cost of living payment
This was announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn statement, and will apply to more than eight million eligible, means-tested people, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Those eligible will be on least one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
Exact dates and amounts are yet to be announced but the payments are expected to be made in three roughly equal amounts:
- £301 in Spring 2023
- £300 in Autumn 2023
- £299 in Spring 2024
It will be paid direct into bank accounts and there is no need to apply. The DWP’s website states that payments will be means-tested and will be ‘up to £900’. The amounts vary slightly to enable to DWP to keep track of payments more easily and reduce fraud.
£150 payment for disabled people
More than six million disabled people who are in receipt of an ‘eligible disability benefit’ will receive a one-off payment of £150.
This will be paid during Summer 2023.
Further details about which disability benefits will qualify in 2023 are yet to be confirmed but they are expected to include:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (for adults and children)
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
There is no need to apply, as the Disability Cost of Living Payment will be made into bank accounts automatically.
£300 payment for pensioners
Any pensioners who were entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment – that’s anyone born before September 26, 1956 – will receive an additional amount of £300 per household this winter. That’s around eight million people.
Those eligible for this Pensioner Cost of Living Payment should already have received the Winter Fuel Payment. If you didn’t, and think you should have done, you can check here to see if you need to make a claim. The deadline for claiming the Winter Fuel Payment 2023/23 is March 31, 2023.
All these cost of living payments will be tax-free, will not impact any existing benefits and won’t count towards the government’s benefit cap.
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