Cost of Living payments

Millions of people on means-tested benefits are receiving the first of two cost of living instalments totalling £650 from 14 July 2022, as part of a £37 billion government package to help families with cost of living pressures.

The first £326 instalment for qualifying low-income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland by their usual payment method continue to the end of the month. For those eligible, the rest will follow in a second instalment in the autumn.

People receiving tax credits and no other eligible benefits will receive their first payment from HMRC in autumn and the second in winter.

In total, millions of vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 from the Government this year to help cover rising costs. There are specific payments for those on means tested benefits, for pensioners, those on disability benefits and to help people with energy bills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do people apply for these Cost of Living Payments?

A: People do not need to apply for Cost of Living payments. If they are eligible, they will be paid automatically in the same way that they usually receive their benefit or tax credits.

Q: Will these payments affect other benefits?

A: These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits people already receive.

Q: How will people know they are eligible? What are the qualifying dates and requirements?

A: To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, people 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 April 2022 to 25 May 2022 or income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.

For Tax Credit customers – To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, customers must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022. GOV.UK will be updated when the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324 have been announced by the Government.

Q: When will the second cost of living payment be paid?

A: We will be communicating with customers when payment dates for the second payment of £324 are confirmed, but we expect this to be by the end of September 2022. Eligible customers receiving tax credits only, will receive their second payment in Winter 2022.

Q: Why are the two amounts, of £326 and £324, slightly different?

A: This will help people to know they have received both payments and avoid the risk of fraud and duplicate payments.

Q: What if a customer gets child tax credit and working tax credit?

A: If you get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive one set of Cost of Living Payments, linked to Child Tax Credit only.

Q: I get additional benefits. Will this affect how much I get?

A: If you receive tax credits from HMRC or a qualifying low income benefit from DWP, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment from DWP or HMRC. If you also get a qualifying disability benefit, you may receive an additional Disability Cost of Living Payment from DWP.

Q: Why are tax credits customers getting paid later?

A: It’s possible for customers to be entitled to both tax credits and other eligible benefits which are administered by DWP. So, HMRC will make payments to eligible customers receiving tax credits only, shortly after DWP, to avoid duplicate payments.