The 7 benefits that qualify for cost of living payment – and the 12 that DON'T | The Sun

OVER eight million households on benefits have started to receive a £301 cost of living payment – but not everyone qualifies for the cash.

Only those on six types of benefits including Universal Credit can get the free cash.

Those claiming benefits like PIP or attendance allowance won't be eligible for the cash.

The £301 payment forms the first instalment of the government's £900 cost of living payment.

A second payment worth £300 will be paid in the autumn and a final £299 instalment in the spring of 2024.

The £900 cost of living payment is designed to help struggling households with essential costs, such as energy and food.

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You'll be eligible for the payment if you were entitled to the following benefits between January 26 and February 25:

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Pension credit
  • Tax credits (child tax credit and working tax credit)
  • Universal Credit

And if you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25, you will be eligible for the payment too.

But be aware that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said that those receiving a Universal Credit "nil award" during the qualifying period won't get the free cash.

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You also won't qualify for the £301 payment if you only receive one of the 12 benefits listed below:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer's allowance
  • Child benefit
  • Disability living allowance (DLA)
  • Contributory, or "new style", employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Guardian's allowance
  • Contribution-based, or "new style", jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • Maternity allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • State pension
  • Statutory adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental pay
  • Statutory sick pay

How will I be paid the cash?

If you qualify for the £301 payment it'll automatically be paid into the bank account you get your benefits sent to from today (April 25).

You'll be able to spot when the free cash lands as it will come with a special code.

This is because any transaction into or out of your bank account has something to identify where it's from – like a shop name.

And it's no different with the cash from the government.

If you receive University Credit or a legacy benefit that isn't tax credits – you'll be paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

You'll be able to see when the money has landed in your bank account by looking for the words: DWP COLP along with your National Insurance number.

Those who claim child tax credit and working tax credit will start receiving the first instalment slightly later.

This is to ensure those on other benefits as well as tax credits aren't paid twice.

These households will be paid between May 2 and May 9 and will be paid by HMRC instead.

Those receiving tax credits should look out for a specific code in their statement showing it's the cost of living payment – "HMRC COLS".

Can I still get the cash if I've only just qualified for benefits?

This depends entirely on the type of benefit you've just qualified for and there's still time to put in an application for one major benefit right now.

The DWP is actually encouraging low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as they can still qualify for the £301 cost of living payment after the qualifying period.

This is because Pension Credit claims can be backdated by up to three months.

Low-income retirees can get more than £3,500 a year to support everyday costs through pension credit.

So if you make a successful claim on May 19 and are able to backdate your payments by the full three months – you'll be eligible for the cash.

You can claim the benefit online or by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

Before you make a claim it's important to have all your details on hand.

You'll need your National Insurance number, bank account details and information about your income, savings and investments.

What other help is coming?

Millions of people with disabilities and pensioners will receive cost of living payments worth up to £300 later this year and into 2024 too.

Over six million people will receive a £150 disability cost of living payment this summer.

You may be entitled to the payment if you receive any of the following 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

Millions of pensioners will receive a £150 or £300 cost of living payment from November this year too.

You will be eligible for the payment if you are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24.

Effectively, the cost of living payment will top up your Winter Fuel Payment.

Eligible households will be sent a letter in October or November telling them how much their total payment is.

In some circumstances, you might be eligible for all three cost of living payments.

That means you will get £1,350 free cash from the government.

Beyond the cost of living payments, extra help is coming via the Household Support Fund, which has been extended until March 31, 2024.

The Fund is a central pot of money from the government that is shared between local councils in England.

They then decide who to distribute the money to, and how to.

It can come in the form of a voucher, or a direct cash payment into your bank account.

In most cases, the support is offered to those on a low income or certain benefits.

You should check with your local council if you are eligible for any support.

If you don't know what council area you fall under, you can use the Government's council locator on its website.

Meanwhile, here are seven loopholes that could stop you from getting the cost of living payment.

Plus, more information on who will be getting the payments and when.

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