A recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 93 per cent of adults have reported an increase in their living costs compared with a year ago, with poorer households disproportionately affected.
The Government introduced a range of support measures in an attempt to combat this in 2022, including a £650 payment for low-income households, £150 for people on disability benefits and a boosted winter fuel payment for pensioners, all of which have been extended for 2023.
What cost of living payments are there in 2023?
The following support has been announced for 2023:
- £900 payment for more than eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants
- £150 for more than six million disabled people
- £300 for more than eight million pensioners on top of their winter fuel payments
Here is a breakdown of each one, and when they are expected:
£900 low-income payment
This will be paid to people who receive the following benefits:
- Universal credit
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Pension credit
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
More than eight million households will receive the payment, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said.
The money will be paid in three separate payments over the course of the financial year, starting in the spring. Exact payment dates will be announced closer to the time, but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year, the DWP said. DWP has issued the following guideline:
- £301 – first payment during spring 2023
- £300 – second payment during autumn 2023
- £299 – third payment during spring 2024
That means people will receive £601 this year, with the remaining £299 in 2024. The slightly different payment amounts are to make it easier for DWP and HMRC to track which grants people have received, in order to minimise fraud risk.
Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has predicted the first payment will be made shortly after 6 April – the beginning of the new financial year, with the second instalment in October or November. He thinks the final payment will be made before 6 April, 2024.
Claimants who are eligible for any of the payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HMRC shortly after DWP payments are issued, as was the case with the previous £650 grant.
The payments will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any effect on existing benefit awards.
£150 disability payment
A £150 disability payment will be awarded to people who receive any of the following:
- Disability living allowance
- Personal independence payment
- Attendance allowance
- Scottish disability benefits
- Armed Forces independence payment
- Constant attendance allowance
- War pension mobility supplement
The payment will be made in summer 2023. The payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
£300 pensioner payment
DWP is extending the £300 boost to the winter fuel payment that was issued in 2022. It will be paid in winter 2023-24. The winter fuel payment, also referred to as a “heating allowance”, is an annual tax-free payment from the DWP for older people.
Anyone who is eligible normally receives £100-£300 each year. The amount you get depends on when you were born, your living situation and the type of benefits you receive. The £300 comes on top of this.
You don’t typically have to apply for the winter fuel payment if you are eligible. You should receive the money automatically. If you have not had the payment before, you will need to claim if any of the following apply:
- You do not get benefits or a state pension
- You only get housing benefit, council tax reduction, child benefit or universal credit
- You get benefits or a state pension but live in Switzerland or a European Economic Area country
- You get an adult disability payment from the Scottish Government
You can find more information about the winter fuel payment here.