Check Your Eligibility for the Next Cost of Living Payment

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31 May 2024

As the cost of living continues to rise, millions of people in the UK are receiving much-needed financial support to help cope with their mounting bills.

In a bid to alleviate the burden on low-income households, pensioners, and certain disabled individuals, the UK government expanded a scheme initiated in 2022.

In this article, we'll delve into the details of these cost-of-living payments, making it easy to understand who's eligible and what support they can expect.

What Cost-of-Living Payments Are Available?

The cost-of-living payments come in various forms, targeting specific groups of individuals facing financial challenges. Let's break down what's on offer:

  • £900 in Total: This sum is distributed in three instalments. The first was paid in spring, the next will be coming this autumn, and the final instalment is scheduled for spring 2024. It is available to households on means-tested benefits.

  • £300 for Pensioner Households: This payment is tailored to help pensioner households during the winter months.

  • £150 for Disabled Individuals: People receiving certain disability benefits are entitled to a £150 payment.

The first instalment of £301 for those on means-tested benefits was received by approximately eight million people in late April and June. The next £300 payment is set to be made between October 31st and November 19th.

Who Is Eligible for the £900 Payment?

The £900 cost-of-living payment, divided into three instalments, is available to households that receive the following benefits:

  • Universal credit
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit

The payment reference on your bank account should appear as your national insurance number, followed by "DWP COL." If you receive working tax credit or child tax credit only, you might receive your payment slightly later.

People who receive the new-style employment and support allowance, contributory employment and support allowance, or the new-style jobseeker's allowance are not eligible for these payments unless they also receive universal credit. If you believe you should have received this support but didn't, contact the office responsible for your benefit or tax credits or report the issue accordingly.

To qualify for the latest instalment, you must have claimed a benefits payment between August 18th and September 17th, or received a payment for an assessment period ending within these dates. Additionally, pensioner households might be able to have a new pension credit claim backdated.

Other eligibility details can be found here, and it's important to note that these cost-of-living payments do not affect the taxes you pay or the benefits and tax credits you receive.

What Help Are Disabled People Getting?

Approximately six million people receiving certain disability benefits were granted an additional £150. These benefits include:

  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Scottish disability payments
  • Armed Forces independence payment
  • Constant attendance allowance
  • War pension mobility supplement

These payments were disbursed between June 20th and July 4th.

What Help Are Pensioners Getting?

Households that receive the winter fuel payment (typically worth £200-£300 and given to most homes with at least one person of pension age) received an extra £300 in November or December 2022, with another £300 scheduled for the coming winter. Lower-income pensioners claiming pension credit receive this extra money in addition to their regular support.

What Cost-of-Living Payments Have People Already Received?

In 2022, two payments totaling £650 were made to over eight million low-income households. Pensioners received £300 during the last winter, and a £150 payment was made to those with disabilities. If eligible, some individuals would have received all of these payments.

Other Support for Households

In addition to the cost-of-living payments, vulnerable individuals received a £150 rebate, often applied to their council tax bill. The Household Support Fund, administered by local councils, extended support to those in need, including providing fuel vouchers.

Furthermore, between October and March, all household energy bills were reduced by at least £400 in England, Scotland, and Wales. However, this specific discount will not be repeated in the upcoming winter. For households in Northern Ireland, a £600 payment was made starting in January due to the region's higher reliance on heating oil.

How Do I Know If I Get The Cost Of Living?

Determining your eligibility for cost-of-living payments in the UK can be straightforward. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you know if you qualify:

  • Check Your Benefits: First, review your existing benefits. Cost-of-living payments are typically available to individuals or households receiving specific benefits. These may include universal credit, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, working tax credit, child tax credit, and pension credit.

  • Verify Payment Reference: If you are eligible for these payments, they should appear as credits in your bank account. The payment reference typically includes your national insurance number followed by "DWP COL."

  • Consider Your Claim Period: To qualify for the most recent instalment, you would have needed to either claim a benefits payment between specific dates (e.g., August 18th and September 17th) or receive a payment for an assessment period that ended during these dates. Make sure your claim or payment period aligns with these criteria.

  • Pension Credit: If you are a pensioner household and not currently claiming pension credit, consider whether you might be eligible. Applying for pension credit, if you haven't already, could open the gateway to these additional payments.

  • Check Disability Benefits: If you receive disability benefits such as disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, or others mentioned in the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to additional payments. Ensure that you are receiving these benefits and that the payments align with the specified dates.

  • Contact Relevant Authorities: If you believe you meet the criteria but have not received the payments, get in touch with the office responsible for your benefits or tax credits. They can provide information on your eligibility and help resolve any issues with the payments.

Cost of Living Payment

The UK government's cost-of-living payments aim to offer much-needed financial assistance to those grappling with rising bills. It's crucial to understand your eligibility and the available support to ensure you can make the most of these schemes. If you believe you qualify but haven't received the help you expected, don't hesitate to contact the appropriate office to address any issues. Financial relief is within reach, and it's important to take full advantage of these supportive measures during these challenging times.


Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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