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Cost of living payments of £324 paid to eligible households from today

Almost one in four families across the UK will receive £324 from the government this month as the latest Cost of Living Payments are sent out from today (8 November 2022).

Over 8 million households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who claimed qualifying means-tested benefits during the eligibility period will be automatically paid £324 this month, as part of £1,200 worth of direct help for households.

  • over 8 million benefit claimants to receive £324 this month as part of Cost of Living support
  • DWP claimants will receive their second Cost of Living payment by 23 November 2022, and eligible tax credit claimants, on no other means-tested benefits, will receive it between 23 and 30 November 2022
  • payments will automatically be made to everyone eligible, with no need for anyone to apply

The payments, starting today from the Department for Work and Pensions, are made directly into eligible recipients’ bank accounts, with no need for people to apply or do anything to receive it.

The payment reference on DWP recipients’ bank accounts will be their national insurance number, followed by “DWP COL”. For HMRC recipients the payment reference will be “HMRC COLS”.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Mel Stride said:

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“We understand that people are struggling and that is why we’ve consistently acted to ensure millions of low-income families are supported. We will continue to act with compassion as we navigate challenging global economic circumstances.

As part of a wider £37 billion package of support, this latest £324 payment will help the most vulnerable people in our society who are worrying about their finances through the winter months.”

The government’s £1,200 support package contains £400 for energy bills that is being paid in monthly instalments to all domestic energy customers between now and March 2023. It also includes a £150 Council Tax rebate for 85% of all UK households and the previous £326 Cost of Living Payment made by DWP in July and by HMRC in September.

On top of this, nearly one in ten people received the £150 disability payment in September, and a £300 addition to Winter Fuel Payments will go to over eight million pensioner households over the winter.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt added:

“Prices are rising across the world as we manage the aftershock of COVID-19 and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. We recognise that families back home are struggling, which is why we’ve taken decisive action to hold down energy bills this winter, and provided hundreds of pounds of cash support for each vulnerable household.

As part of that support, over 8 million vulnerable households – almost a quarter of families in the UK – will automatically receive a second cost of living payment worth £324 in their bank account from today.

“And while we can’t completely protect people from rising prices, my priority at the upcoming Autumn Statement will be to protect the poorest in society as we take the tough decisions necessary to fix our public finances.”

Those eligible to receive the second cost of living payment from today include people on:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit

To be eligible, claimants must have been claiming and entitled to a payment between 26 August and 25 September 2022, with the exception of pensioner households, who may be able to have a new Pension Credit claim backdated.

They have until 18 December 2022 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 the online calculator or by calling the freephone claim line, on: 0800 99 1234.

Even if you are not on a qualifying DWP benefit you may still be eligible for the £324 payment, as HMRC are also making payments to over a million people who receive Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit and no other eligible benefits. These will be paid between 23 and 30 November 2022 and customers do not need to contact the government or apply for the payment at any stage.

The £324 payment and the overall £1,200 package come on top of wide-ranging government support with the cost of living this winter, including an extension to the Household Support Fund, which is providing an extra £421 million between October and March to help vulnerable people with the essentials.

As well as this, the Energy Price Guarantee is ensuring people across the country pay significantly less for their energy bills, with a typical household saving around £700 this winter.

More information about Cost of Living support

  • low-income households are benefiting from government support in a variety of different ways. You can read more about the government’s cost of living support and what is available 
  • the cost of living support package was announced in May 2022 and includes 6 one-off support measures:
    1. a £650 Cost of Living Payment, made in two payments, to claimants of certain means-tested benefits including Universal Credit, most of the legacy benefits and tax credits it is replacing (except Housing Benefit), and Pension Credit
    2. a £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for recipients of certain non-means-tested disability benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA)
    3. a £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, paid as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment, to households with at least one person entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023
    4. a £150 Council Tax rebate for 85% of all UK households
    5. an expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme, providing households with £400 of support towards their energy bills
    6. additional funding to extend the Household Support Fund
  • to be eligible for the second payment of £324, families must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either:
    • Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 August to 25 September 2022
    • Income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022
  • Tax credit-only customers, who will receive the second payment shortly after DWP payments, must have received a payment or an annual award of at least £26 of tax credits for any day in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022, or later found to be entitled to tax credits for this period
  • for DWP claimants eligible for the £324 payment, in a small minority of complex circumstances, households may be paid after 23 November 2022 – for example, if they were deemed unable to claim certain benefits, but won backdated entitlement on appeal, or where payments were rejected due to invalid account details. The DWP will seek to contact claimants directly in the very small minority of cases where there are issues or delays
  • this payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards
  • these payments are being delivered in two slightly different amounts of £326 and £324. The distinct value relates to a specific qualifying period, so it is simpler to determine if a payee received the correct payments, reducing the fraud risk of people who claim not to have had one of the specific two payments, as DWP will be able to clearly track those who have

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