The cost of living has increased and mortgage rates are on the rise, leaving consumers struggling to make ends meet. However, the UK government is offering five cost of living payments to provide support. Banks have been slow to pass on increased interest rates to savers, adding to the financial burden. If you qualify for all the help available, you could receive a total of £1,275. Here's everything you need to know.
Cost of living payment – £300
The government has already distributed millions of pounds in cost of living payments since last summer. The latest round includes a £900, £150, and £150-£300 payment. Some payments have already been made, such as the £150 disability payment. The £900 payment has been divided into three instalments, with the second instalment worth £300 set to be paid in autumn. To qualify for this payment, you must have received certain benefits during a qualifying period, including Universal Credit and Tax Credits.
Pensioner cost of living payment – £150-£300
Pensioners will receive a top-up on their Winter Fuel payment from November. To be eligible, you must qualify for the Winter Fuel payment this year, which is available to those born before September 25, 1957. The payment is designed to help cover higher energy bills during the winter months. In most cases, you will receive the payment automatically. However, if this is your first time receiving the payment or you've deferred your state pension, you will need to apply. If you live abroad and receive qualifying benefits, you may also need to claim manually.
Warm Home Discount – £150
Eligible households can receive a £150 discount on their electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The discount is a one-time payment and is not paid directly to you. If your supplier provides both gas and electricity, you may be eligible for a discount on your gas bill instead. The qualification criteria differ depending on whether you live in England and Wales or Scotland. In England and Wales, you qualify if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or if you are on a low income with high energy costs. In Scotland, you qualify if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or if you meet the criteria set by your energy supplier.
Household Support Fund – £450
The Household Support Fund has been extended by the government, with an additional £842 million allocated to local councils in England. The scheme is open until March 31, 2024, and the funds are being distributed among residents. This fund provides further financial support to households that are struggling.