The monthly payments to help everyone who pays an electricity bill came to end with the £67 paid or credited in March. Instead, the Government has decided to target those who need their help most – so over the next year extra cost of living payments will be going to pensioners, disabled people and households on means-tested benefits.
The first payment is £301, to every person who claims benefits such as pension credit, universal credit, tax credits and other income-related benefits. If you were entitled to one of these between 26 January and 25 February, you will get the money in your bank account between 25 April and 17 May. Some people who normally get universal credit but did not get a payment between 26 January and 25 February because they had what is called a “nil award” – usually because of their earnings – will not get the £301 payment.
Pensioners who do not get pension credit but could qualify for it still have time to claim it and get the £301 payment. But they must claim before 19 May. If your income is around £240 a week or less(£351 for a couple), you should call the Pension Credit line on 0800 99 1234. The amounts are less if you reached pension age 6 April 2016 or later. But even if you only qualify for a few pence a week, it will trigger the £301 payment.
People on any of these means-tested benefits including pension credit will get a further payment of £300 in the autumn and a third payment of £299 next spring – a total of £900.
In addition, everyone born before 24 September 1957 will get not only the winter fuel payment of £200 per household (£300 for those aged over 80) this winter but also an extra payment of £300 per household, as they did last winter.
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People on most of the disability payments will also get a £150 payment direct into their bank account this summer. The qualifying benefits include attendance allowance, disability living allowance, personal independence payment, and their Scottish equivalents. All these payments are free of tax and do not affect entitlement to other means-tested benefits.
For more information, go to gov.uk and search “cost of living payments 2023 to 2024”.
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