Cost of Living Payment – A complete guide



For 2022, a cost of living support package has been implemented, which comprises one-time payments to people on income-related benefits, disabled claimants, and retirees. These contributions are intended to help you cope with the recent increase in the expense of living.


Eligibility


If you receive certain benefits or tax credits, you may be eligible for one or more of these Cost of Living Support Payments.


You do not need to do anything in order to apply. If you are qualified (or subsequently discovered to be eligible), you will be paid automatically in the same way you receive your regular benefit payments or tax credits.


These additional living expenses will be deducted from your regular payments. They are not taxable and will have no effect on any benefits or tax credits you receive.


Depending on your circumstances on a specific date or over a specific term, you could receive up to three different sorts of payment:


If you receive a qualified low-income benefit or tax credits, you may be eligible for a Low-Income Cost of Living Payment.


If you receive a qualified disability payment, you may be eligible for a Disability Cost of Living Payment.


If you are eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment for the winter of 2022–2023, you will get a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.


If you get a Cost of Living Payment but are later determined to be ineligible, you may be required to repay it.


Low income (means tested) benefits


You might receive a £650 Low Income Cost of Living Payment in two instalments of £326 and £324.


You must have been entitled to (or later become entitled to) one of the following benefits to be eligible for the initial Low-Income Cost of Living Payment of £326.


Universal Credit

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Income Support

Pension Credit


Income-based JSA or ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit Eligibility


To receive the first Low-Income Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have been entitled to (or later found to be entitled to) income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support, or Pension Credit on any day between April 26 and May 25, 2022.


To get the second Cost of Living Payment of £324, you must have been entitled to (or later found to be allowed to) income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support, or Pension Credit on any day between August 26 and September 25, 2022.


If you file a joint claim with a partner, you will get one Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid in two instalments if qualified.


Universal Credit eligibility


To receive the first Low-Income Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have been entitled to (or later found to be entitled to) Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended between April 26 and May 25, 2022.


To get the second Cost of Living payment of £324, you must have been entitled to (or subsequently found to be entitled to) Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended between August 26 and September 25, 2022.


If your wages lowered your Universal Credit to £0 during the qualifying assessment period, you will not be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment. This is commonly referred to as a 'nil reward.' If money has been deducted for other reasons (for example, rent to your landlord or money owed), you may still be eligible.


If you file a joint claim with a partner, you will get one Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid in two instalments if you are qualified.


Extra information on Low Income Cost of Living Payment


From July 20 through July 30, 2022, eligible people are receiving low-income benefits in Northern Ireland.


This cost of living support payment will display as 'DWP Cost of Living' in your account or on your Payment Exception Service voucher.


Payments may be delayed if you are given a qualifying benefit at a later date or if you modify the account into which your benefit is paid. You will continue to receive your Cost of Living Payment automatically.


Below is information on how to report a missing Cost of Living payment.


If you are eligible, the second payment of £324 will be made between November 8 and November 23, 2022.


You may have earned a Disability Cost of Living Payment in September 2022 if you also get a qualifying disability benefit.


Tax Credits


If you have an award for one of the following, you may be eligible for a Low Income Cost of Living Payment of £650, paid in two instalments of £326 and £324.


Tax Break for Children

Tax Credit for Employees

The first payment of £326 was made to the majority of eligible people between September 2 and September 7, 2022.


Your payment may be delayed if you are awarded qualifying Tax Credits at a later date or if you modify the account into which your Tax Credits are paid. You will continue to receive the Low Income Cost of Living Allowance automatically.


To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have been eligible, or later found to be entitled, on any day between April 26 and May 25, 2022, to:


a tax credit payment

a tax credit award of at least £26 each year

The second payment will be made in the autumn of 2022. This page will be updated as soon as the entitlement dates for the second payment of £324 are confirmed, or as new information becomes available.


If you file a joint claim with a partner, you will get one Low Income Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid in two instalments if you are qualified.


If you receive both the Child Tax Credit and the Working Tax Credit, you will only receive the Child Tax Credit.


If you have previously received a low income (means tested) Cost of Living Payment from the Department for Communities / DWP, you will not be eligible for a Cost of Living Payment from HMRC.


You may have earned a Disability Cost of Living Payment in September 2022 if you also get a qualifying disability benefit.


Disability benefits


You may get a lump sum payment of £150 if you get any of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance

  • Disability Living Allowance for adults

  • Disability Living Allowance for children

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • War Pension Mobility Supplement


If you receive more than one of these disability benefits, you are only eligible for one Disability Cost of Living Payment.


To receive the payment, you must have been eligible to (or subsequently become entitled to) one of these qualifying benefits on May 25, 2022.


From 20 September 2022, the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment was paid automatically. The majority of people were paid by the beginning of October 2022.


Payments to those who get a qualifying disability benefit from the Department for Communities / DWP will be made before payments to people who receive a qualifying benefit from the Ministry of Defence.


If you receive a qualifying low-income (means-tested) benefit or tax credits, you may be eligible for an additional Low Income Cost of Living Payment.


Report a missing Cost of Living Payment


If you believe you should have received the £326 low-income payment but do not see it in your bank, building society, or credit union account, you can report it to the office that pays your benefit.


If you believe you should have received the £150 Disability Cost of Living Allowance but cannot find it in your bank, building society, or credit union account, you can report a missing Cost of Living Allowance (external link opens in a new window/tab).


You do not need to report a missing payment again if you have already reported it.


Help for pensioners


This winter, pensioner households will get an additional £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment to assist them to afford the growing cost of electricity.


If you are eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment for the winter of 2022 to 2023, you will get this additional £300 with your regular payment beginning in November 2022.


This Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be added to any Cost of Living Payments you may receive as part of your qualifying benefit or tax credits.


People will be eligible for this payment if they are over the State Pension age (66 or older) between September 19 and September 25, 2022.

The total amount of Winter Fuel Payment you will receive for the winter of 2022-2023 will be determined by your circumstances.


Not entitled to Cost of Living Support payment


People who get the following benefits only, will not be eligible for a cost of Living Support payment:

  • Carers Allowance

  • New-Style or contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance unless you get Universal Credit or a disability benefit as well

  • New-Style or contribution based Employment and Support Allowance unless you get Universal Credit or a disability benefit as well

  • Incapacity Benefit

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit