MILLIONS of households have benefited from free cash to help ease the cost of living – and there's still more to come.
The cash worth up to £1,350 in total is part of a package of wider Government support announced to tackle the cost of living.
Millions of payments landed in accounts this spring and summer, but many more remain.
Overall, £900 is being handed out to each household on means-tested benefits in three instalments.
A £150 cost of living payment has also been given to eligible people with certain disabilities.
Plus, a £300 pensioner payment will follow later this year. We explain all you need to know.
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Thousands who missed out on cost of living payments can get up to £700 free cash
£900 for people on means-tested benefits
More than eight million households first received the initial instalment of their £900 cash in April.
It was the first of three payments for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit.
The payment of £301 was made directly into bank accounts between April 25 and May 17.
Meanwhile, one million households on tax credits received the first part of the cost of living payment from May 2.
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The second instalment will go out to households on benefits between October 31 and November 19.
Households on tax credits only will receive their payment from HMRC between November 10 and November 19.
The support also includes a further payment of £299 in spring 2024, but the exact date hasn't yet been confirmed.
The full list of benefits that qualify people for the payments is:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension credit
If you were receiving any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25 this year, you received the first £301 payment.
You'll get the second one too if you were eligible between August 18 and September 17.
If you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between these qualifying dates you are eligible for the payment too.
The payments won't affect the benefit amount you usually get or contribute to the benefit cap.
£150 disability cost of living payment
A £150 cost of living payment was paid to six million people with disabilities earlier this summer.
The tax-free cash went out between June 20 and July 4.
A small number of people saw the £150 land in their accounts after July 4, however.
This applied if you were awaiting confirmation of your eligibility for the qualifying benefits on April 1.
You had to be receiving the below benefits to qualify for the £150 cost of living payment:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Scottish Disability Benefits (Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payment)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
£300 pensioner cost of living payment
A £300 pensioner cost of living payment will also be made during the winter.
If you were entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for Winter 2023 to 2024, you will get the extra cash paid with your normal payment.
The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment – including the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – you will get for winter 2023 to 2024 depends on when you were born and your circumstances during the qualifying dates.
You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 24 September 1957.
A letter will be sent to you telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you'll get if you're eligible.
Check if you are entitled to benefits
A number of charities have benefits calculators that you can use to work out if you are entitled to any extra help.
- Policy in Practice
It's worth looking into as if you do qualify, it could make you eligible for the £900 cost of living payment too.
Before you do use such a tool, you should make sure you have all the relevant paperwork to hand, including bank statements and any information on pensions and existing benefits.
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You'll also have to give information about yourself, including your age and who you live with.
Remember though, the tools only give you an indication of what benefits you might be entitled to.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].
You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.
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