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New Government Cost of Living support

  • 27/05/2022
  • Author:Michael.Clarke@turn2us.org.uk

On 26 May, the government announced new help to support people with the cost of living. There are a number of different schemes that are aimed at different groups.

On 26 May, the government announced new help to support people with the cost of living. There are a number of different schemes that are aimed at different groups. 

EVERYONE 

Anyone paying an electricity bill will get £400 taken off their energy account in the autumn. It won’t be paid as cash – it will be applied as effectively a discount on your bill. 

You won’t have to repay it. 

This replaces the previous scheme where there would be a £200 payment applied to accounts that would then have to be repaid over 5 years. 

PENSIONERS 

Anyone who is pension age on or before 25 September 2022 (born on or before 25 September 1956) will get an extra £300 in addition to the £200-300 Winter Fuel Payment . 

Most people who get this will receive payment by direct debit in November or December 2022. 

DISABLED PEOPLE 

There will be an extra £150 payment to people who get disability benefits 

To be entitled to this payment, you have to be getting one of these benefits: 

This payment will go out in September. 

It will be paid in the same way as your disability benefit. For most people, this will be by a transfer into their bank account.  

LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS 

£650 will be paid in two instalments to households getting one of the following benefits: 

It will be paid automatically by the same mechanism you usually get your benefits – so if you get direct transfers into your bank account that is how it will be paid. 

You will only get one lot of £650, even if you’re receiving several of the benefits in this list. 

The first instalment will go out from July. The government hasn’t published information about the second instalment yet.   

EXTRA HELP 

Councils have been given extra money to run discretionary funding schemes. This means councils have a lot of flexibility about how they decide to use the money. 

If you’re struggling, you should ask your council for help 

 

FAQs 

How do these schemes work together?

These schemes are cumulative, so a pensioner couple with disabilities might get 

  • £400 off their energy bill, and 
  • £300 extra as well as their Winter Fuel Payment of £XX, and 
  • £150 payment alongside their Attendance Allowance, and 
  • £650 payment along with their Pension Credit 

Are these schemes taxable?

No, they are not taxable 

Will these payments affect my other benefits? 

No, getting these payments won’t affect your other benefits. 

Do I need to apply for these schemes? 

Most of these schemes are designed to pay people automatically so you won’t need to apply. 

If you’re struggling at any point, you can ask your council if they have a scheme that can help you. Different councils have set up different schemes, but councils have been provided with money to help people who are struggling. 

 I have a prepayment meter – will I still get help? 

Yes, you will still get help even if you’re on a prepayment meter. Depending on your energy company, you might get a £400 credit applied to your meter during the winter, or you might be sent vouchers for £400 of energy. 

What about the £150 council tax rebate- do I still get that? 

People living in properties banded A-D had a £150 council tax rebate announced in the chancellor’s Spring Statement in March.  

Most people who pay their council tax by direct debit have already had their £150 council tax rebate. If you haven’t had it yet or don’t pay by direct debit you need to get in touch with your council to find out how to get it.  

My rent includes bills  - will I get the £400 payment? 

The £400 payment will be applied as a discount to your energy bill. You might need to talk to your landlord about how this will affect how much you pay to your landlord for rent and bills. 

If I start my benefits claim now or after May 25th, can I get the extra help? 

You are too late now to get the help for people getting disability benefits. You are also too late to get the first instalment of the £650 payment to people on means tested benefits. It is still worth claiming any benefits you are entitled to because this will increase your income overall.  

If I pay my energy direct each month / quarter, will I still get the £400 payment? 

Yes, it will be applied as a discount to your energy account during the winter, so you will have less to pay. 

 

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