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Cost of Living Support - Cost of living support FAQs

The government has announced extra help with the cost of living for 2022

Cost of living support FAQs

How do I tell if I was getting Universal Credit on the right date to qualify for the £650 payment?

You will get the first instalment of the £650 payment if you were getting Universal Credit in an assessment period that ended between 26 April and 25 May.

You can view your Assessment Period dates by looking at your Universal Credit statements in your online journal.

You need to look for the statement whose assessment period ended after 26 April and before 25 May.

If that statement gave you entitlement to Universal Credit of any amount of money above £0, you will be able to get the first instalment of the £650 payment.

If I get a job, will I lose my entitlement to the £650 payment?

If you are on Universal Credit now, and you get a job that takes your Universal Credit entitlement to zero, there is a risk that you could lose entitlement to the second instalment of the £650 payment. It won't affect your entitlement to the first instalment.

Before deciding what to do, use our benefits calculator to check how the job would affect your Universal Credit entitlement. You are often a lot better off on Universal Credit by having a job, so it might be worth taking the job even if that would mean that you cannot get the extra £324 second instalment.

Is it too late for me to qualify for the extra help?

It is too late to qualify for the first instalment of the £650 payment, unless you are over 66 and were over 66 on 25 May. If you are over 66 and were over 66 on 25 May, you can make a claim for Pension Credit and ask for it to be backdated.

It is too late to qualify for the help for disabled people. It is still worth you making a claim for disability benefits if you qualify, because these will always leave you better off.

It is not too late to qualify for the £400 off your energy bill.

It is not too late to qualify for help for people over 66.

I am entitled to several of these kinds of help - do I have to choose which I get?

No, you don't have to choose. 

You can get all of these kinds of help together.

For example, a disabled person over 66 living alone and getting Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance and paying an energy bill to an energy supplier would get:

  • £400 off her energy bill; and
  • £150 off her energy bill from Warm Home Discount, and
  • £300 extra payment for people over 66, and
  • £500 Winter Fuel Payment, and
  • £650 payment for people on the lowest incomes, and
  • £150 payment for disabled people

There are several people living in my home with their own benefit claims, can we each get the payments?

The Disability Payments are paid per disabled person, so if multiple people in the property or household get disability benefits, then they will each get the extra £150.

The £650 is paid per benefit household. For example, if someone lives with their adult son, or their friend, and each person has their own Universal Credit claim, they will each be able to get the £650 payment. If you live with a partner, you will only get one £650 payment for the two of you.

The £300 payment is paid per household that qualifies for Winter Fuel Payment. 

The £400 payment is paid as a discount on energy bills. It will only be applied per energy bill, no matter how many people are named on the bill or live in the property.

I live on a park home. What help can I get?

If you are entitled to the help for people on low incomes, the help for disabled people, or the help for people over 66, you can get these.

The government is still working out whether and how you can get the £400 off energy bills.

Make sure you sign up for the Warm Home Discount scheme for park home residents. Applications open in September.

Is there any other help I can get as well as this? 

Warm Home Discount
  • The government has made changes to the Warm Home Discount scheme for winter 2022/23. You no longer have to apply for the Warm Home Discount.
  • Anyone getting guarantee pension credit will get an extra £150 off their energy bill. Pension credit is underclaimed. Lots of people are missing out on help they could be getting. If you are over 66, use our benefits calculator to check if you could get pension credit.
  • Households getting Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, or Savings pension Credit might also be able to get £150 off their energy bills. Your energy company will make an assessment to see if you have high energy needs. If you get the qualifying benefit and have high energy needs, you will get £150 off your energy bill automatically.
  • Not all energy companies offer the Warm Home Discount.
Financial health check

Make sure you have checked out all the other help you can get to increase your income and reduce your spending. 

I'm struggling - is there anything I can access now? 

Councils have been given money to support people who are struggling. Contact your council to see what help they can offer.

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