Money Matters: When to expect your cost of living payments

The government is making payments to some households to help with the high energy prices and essential living costs.

It’s worth finding out if you qualify for these Cost of Living Payments and what you could get.

Millions of low-income families will receive a £300 cost of living payment directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 31 October and 19 November.

It will be the second of three payments eventually totalling £900 and will be received by around eight million families on means-tested benefits.

If you’re on a low-income and on means-tested benefits, the money is automatically put in your bank, building society or credit union account.

These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you receive.

People in receipt of Tax Credits and no other qualifying benefit from the DWP will receive the £300 payment directly from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between Friday, November 10 and Sunday, November 19, 2023. Payments will appear on accounts as either ‘DWP COL’, or ‘HMRC COLS’, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.

There is a chance these payments could be paid late – such as if you are made eligible for a qualifying benefit at a later date or you change the bank account your benefit or tax credits are paid into.

The £300 payment will be sent out automatically to the account used for their qualifying benefit, which means nobody needs to apply for the financial support - if you receive a text, email or phone call asking you to make a claim for any cost of living payment, it is a scam.

There are also separate disability cost of living payments and pensioner cost of living payments coming later this year, such as the winter fuel payment.

The winter fuel payment is anywhere between £250 and £600 depending on your circumstances.

If you’re entitled to a winter fuel payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will also get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.

This is known as the pensioner cost of living payment and is in addition to any cost of living payments you get with your benefit or tax credits.

If you think you should have had a cost of living payment, but you cannot see it in your bank, building society or credit union account, you can report it as missing to the office that pays your benefit. You can also report it through the government’s website.

If you are struggling with managing your household bills or debts, you should seek free advice from your housing association, Citizens Advice or local authority.

(Article published 21 September 2023)

16th October 2023