Money to help with your bills is on its way, says Paul Lewis
It’s the first half of the £650 payment promised by the Chancellor in May to help with the cost of living
From this week millions see should see £326 appear in their bank account. It’s the first half of the £650 payment promised by the Chancellor in May to help with the cost of living – especially the cost of electricity and gas bills.
To qualify, people must be entitled to one of seven means-tested benefits: Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income Support, Working tax credit, Child tax credit, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Suppor t Allowance (ESA). New-style ESA or JSA based on National Insurance contributions don’t count for the payment unless you also get one of the other benefits.
To be in line for the payment you must normally have been entitled to one of those benefits on 25 May 2022. It will also be paid if you applied before that date and later find out you were eligible for the benefit then. People who get any amount of pension credit will qualify. People who live as a couple will only get the payment once; but where more than one person in a household has a separate claim they will each get the payment.
The Government says the first payments should be made between 14 and 31 July. A second payment of £324 will be made in the autumn. It will be possible to qualify for the second payment even if you did not qualify for the first. People who get tax credits who also qualify because
they receive one of the other benefits will get the payment with that benefit. The first payments for those who only qualify through tax credits will not be paid until the autumn; their second payment will be made in the winter.
The two payments are slightly different amounts to stop them being confused, and to reduce the risk of fraud. No claim is needed – the payments will normally be made direct into your bank account. If your benefit is paid in another way they will be paid as your benefit is. The payments are not taxable and will not affect entitlement to any benefits.
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Paul Lewis presents Money Box on Radio 4. QUESTIONS? Send any questions to Paul.Lewis@radiotimes.com. Paul cannot answer you personally, but I will reflect them in his column.