Cost of living payments

Photo of money -- notes and coins.

The government will make extra payments to people getting means-tested benefits, tax credits, and disability benefits (including DLA for children), under pressure to respond to the cost of living crisis.

Cost of living payments

People getting low-income means-tested benefits will get a cost of living payment of £650. This will be split into two instalments of £326 and £324. The first instalment will be paid between 14 July to end of July 2022. The second instalment in autumn 2022. This will be paid the usual way you get your benefit, there is no need to make a claim.

The payment won’t be taxed, does not reduce Universal Credit or other benefit amounts, and the benefit cap doesn’t apply if it takes you over the limit. It will be paid to people in low-waged work, as well as unwaged people. Couples with a joint claim will only get £650 between them, not each.

Disability carers will only get the cost of living payment in their own right if they are on a means-tested benefit such as Universal Credit carer element, Income Support carer premium, or ESA.

Some rules apply, more info here.

Disability cost of living payment

According to government information, you get a lump sum payment of £150 if you’re getting any of these disability benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

More info here.

If you get both a low-income benefit, and a disability benefit such as PIP which is not means-tested, you should get BOTH types of payment, cost of living AND disability.

Pensioner cost of living payment

  • Pensioners who get the Winter Fuel Payment will get an additional £300 in November/December as a top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
  • The Winter Fuel Payment (including the extra Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. More info on the rules of Winter Fuel Payment is here.
  • People will be eligible for the cost of living payment if they are over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 – 25 September 2022. 

Register as a vulnerable customer with your gas, electricity and water suppliers

We recommend to register with your energy suppliers as a vulnerable customer. This gives you some protection against being cut off for non-payment or being forced onto pre-payment meters which are more expensive. More info here.

Companies also have their own schemes or funds which you can apply to for help.

Council Tax rebate for electricity and gas costs

The £150 Council Tax rebate (refund) towards electricity and gas costs, is separate and is handled by your Council.

I get homecare — will the Council count my cost of living payment as income for care charges?

No. The extra payments can’t be taken. The government changed the charging regulations to make it clear that Councils must not count the government’s Cost of living payments in your financial assessment of care charges. More info here.

What we want

We know these extra payments are not enough. We’re campaigning for benefit levels to be increased, not just these one-off payments, and for benefit rights for all, regardless of immigration status (abolition of No Recourse to Public Funds).

And we are campaigning against care charges for homecare taken from our disability benefits. Unwaged disabled people pay a bigger slice of our income than disabled people in waged work. Councils take up to a third of our benefit income, and mainly ignore our extra costs of disability. Higher charges are still being imposed on us despite the cost of living crisis!

2 comments

  1. How generous the government is, but for years paying for care has seen our disability money disappear from our benefits, and disability payments. All Councils saw that disability money that they could take to fill their coffers because of cuts from central government.
    This is fraud, fraud means finding a way to take money you are not entitled to from another party and then putting it in council pot, to spend on things which the council needs.
    This is disability money that the DWP expects the claimant to use towards their disabilities.

    Like

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