HOUSEHOLDS will want to mark these key dates in their diaries when cash is set to be paid out to help with the soaring cost of living.
Energy bills are set to rise to £3,549 from October 1, the regulator Ofgem has confirmed, piling more misery onto households.
Key dates when cost of living payments will hit bank accounts
But support is on its way, with one million households on tax credits set to get a cash payment to help with the cost of living today.
Up to £1,474 in energy bill support is also set to be dished out the next four months.
With payments worth between £150 and £324, those on the lowest incomes and facing financial hardship can get over a thousand pounds in support.
Millions of households on Universal Credit and legacy benefits should have already received the first half of the £650 cost of living payment.
These households were given £326 in July but those on tax credits will start to receive their first share of cash next week.
The energy bill support on offer was first announced by former chancellor and wannabe PM Rishi Sunak in May.
We explain what’s happening and when, and how it will affect your wallet.
£650 for household on tax credits – from today
Households claiming tax credits will get the first half of a £650 direct payment today.
One million people receiving tax credits will receive the first half of the £650 cost of living payment.
According to HMRC, all payments will be made by September 7.
The £326 worth of support will be paid in the same way you usually get your tax credits.
The government is paying tax credit claimants later than those getting DWP benefits like Universal Credit to avoid paying anyone twice.
You must have been entitled, or later found to be entitled to tax credit payments of annual awards between April 26 and May 25 to get the cash.
Anyone who claims both types of the benefit – child tax credit and working tax credit – will have the payment made into the bank account where child tax credits are paid.
The second instalment worth £324 is due to be paid in the winter for those on tax credits, although the government is yet to confirm a specific date.
Cost of living disability payment – September 20
Over six million people with disabilities are set to receive £150 from Tuesday, September 20.
This payment is to help those with disabilities pay for any energy intensive equipment they might have.
The payment will be made directly into their bank account and households won’t need to apply.
It won’t have any impact on existing benefit awards either.
You can get the cash if you claim one of the following:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
Warm Home Discount letters sent out – October
Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023.
You’ll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
The Department for Work and Pensions, who’s overseeing the scheme, will send you letter in October to confirm if you’ll get the payment later on in the year.
Energy bills rebate payments begin – from October 1
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
We’ve listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households the discount and are waiting on others to respond.
The way you’ll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.
If you’re on a credit meter the discount will come off your bills, but if you’re on a prepayment meter you’ll get a voucher.
Check with your supplier to confirm how you’ll receive the cash.
Second half of £650 cost of living payment
Those on the following benefits have already had the first payment of £326 chunk of the £650 cost of living payment:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
A second part of the payment worth £324 will be made in autumn, but an exact date has not yet been confirmed by the government.
Pensioner cost of living payment – November
In November, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
You can check out if you are eligible for the winter fuel payment in our explainer.
Warm Home Discount payments begin – December
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin from December.
It’s up to energy companies when they will give the discount and people can check with their supplier
If you’re unsure about who supplies your energy, you can find out through Find My Supplier.
In previous years the cash was split across four payments – giving customers a £37 discount off their bills each month from December to March.
The way in which you’ll be paid will be confirmed by your energy due course.
How to get help with your energy bills
Unfortunately, there isn’t an awful lot you can do to escape rising energy prices.
However, there are always schemes and funds available to hold your hand throughout the price hikes.
For example, there are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling, like the British Gas hardship fund which can lend you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment meter.
In terms of council funds, the Household Support Fund helps families with the rising cost of living, has been extended.
This help could include cash grants to pay bills or cover food costs – the help will depend on where you live.
For example, residents in Blackpool can get as much as £300, depending on their circumstances.
To find out what support is available in your area, contact your local council.
Make sure to check your bills if your energy supplier went bust and you’ve been switched over to a new one.
HOAR has previously reported customers have seen payments taken from both their old and new suppliers.