The press release issued by the Department for Work and Pensions on 7 November 2023.
99% of households already eligible for the second Cost of Living Payment have been directly paid £300 by the Government.
- The payments are the second of up to three worth up to £900 in 2023/24 for those eligible.
- Those remaining will continue to be automatically paid between now and 19 November by DWP.
More than seven million households across the UK have been paid a £300 Cost of Living Payment, a £2.2 billion cash injection made by the Department for Work and Pensions in just eight days.
This means the vast majority of already eligible households have received the support in just eight days of the rollout starting, equating to over a million payments on each day they were made.
The payment is the second of up to three Cost of Living Payments being made this financial year, illustrating the Government’s commitment to supporting low-income families with financial pressures. These payments will all be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
Global inflationary pressures have seen the Department for Work and Pensions step in to provide unprecedented cost of living support, with billions of pounds sent directly into low-income households’ accounts over a matter of days.
This comes alongside work to deliver on the government’s five priorities, including halving inflation and growing the economy, ultimately helping put more money in people’s bank accounts.
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
Getting this vital money to over 7 million people across the UK in just eight days shows our determination to give people greater financial security as we work to halve inflation, bring costs down, and boost people’s bank balances.
In the long term, the best way to secure financial security is through work, and thousands of Work Coaches in Jobcentres across the country are on hand to help people find a job, enhance their skills, and reap the benefits of work.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:
Christmas can put a strain on people’s finances which is why this £300 will be a welcome boost for millions of families.
But we must tackle the root cause of higher bills by halving inflation this year and by sticking to our plan, we’re on track to do so.
The Cost of Living Payments, spread across 2023/24, are worth up to £900 for those on means-tested benefits. The first payment was made in April and May of this year, with the next one to come by Spring 2024.
The Cost of Living Payments build on the significant cost of living support already provided to eligible households throughout 2022 – now worth an average of £3,300 per household over this year and last. We have also gone further by:
- Increasing benefits in line with inflation, meaning more than 10 million working age families will see an average increase of around £600.
- Maintaining the Triple Lock earlier this year to give around 12 million pensioners the largest ever cash increase to the State Pension.
- Extending the Household Support Fund for another year in England to help families with essential costs with £1 billion of extra funding.
- Increasing the National Living Wage by its largest ever cash amount for 2 million workers – worth over £1,600 to the annual earnings of a full-time worker – and committing to increase it to over £11 an hour from April 2024.
- Cutting fuel duty by 5 pence and freezing the increase, worth £100 to the average driver this year.
- Covering up to 85% of childcare costs for working households on Universal Credit, up from 70% under the legacy system – currently worth over £19,500-a-year for families with two or more children.
Pensioner households will also receive £300 which will be paid as a top up to those eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment in November and December. Combined with the one-off Cost of Living Disability Payment earlier this year, some households will receive £1,350 in total.
The small number of payments still outstanding will continue to be made between now and 19 November, and anyone eligible still waiting for a payment does not need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before then. After this date, if someone thinks they may be missing a payment they are entitled to a form can be filled out on the gov.uk website to make a claim.
In addition, eligible families, receiving tax credits only, will get their £300 Cost of Living Payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 10 and 19 November with the payment reference ‘HMRC COLS’.
While payments are made automatically, people must be receiving one of the eligible qualifying benefits during the specified period to qualify. Those who wish to check their entitlement to benefits should use a benefits calculator on Gov.uk to get a better idea of what they could receive.
- The three means-tested Cost of Living Payments, worth up to £900 in total, is being delivered in three slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. This allows DWP to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible; to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value; and to reduce the risk of fraud.
- To get the £300 payment someone must (subject to a very limited exception explained below) have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit as follows:
- For Universal Credit, payment in respect of an assessment period ending between the 18 August and 17 September 2023
- For all other DWP means-tested benefits, payment in respect of any day 18 August and the 17 September 2023.
- For tax credits-only customers to be eligible they must have received a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 18 August 2023 and the 17 September 2023, or later be paid in respect of any day in this period.
- Those on DWP benefits other than Universal Credit who are entitled to less than 10 pence and meet all other qualifying criteria but who do not receive a benefit payment, will still receive a Cost of Living Payment.
- Payment windows and eligibility dates for the remaining Cost of Living Payment will be announced in due course.
- For constituency and local authority level breakdowns on payments, please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/first-2023-24-cost-of-living-payment-dates-announced
- The £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid to all households in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments, in the same way as 2022/23 payments were made.
- For more information on these payments, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payments-2023-to-2024
- For regional, constituency and local authority level breakdowns on payments, please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/first-2023-24-cost-of-living-payment-dates-announced