The Government has said households will get more support with high energy bills to ease the cost of living.
Chancellor Jeremey Hunt outlined the proposals in his Budget earlier this month.
Here is what we know.
What energy support will the Government give?
The EPG will be kept at £2,500 for an additional three months from April to June, which the Treasury says will save an average household £160.
This means that “typical energy bills” will be capped at £2,500 until June. The EPG was due to expire on 1 April.
However, households will still see their bills increase, as the £400 grant that has been issued in monthly instalments since October ended this month.
Announcing the Energy Price Guarantee extension this month, Jeremy Hunt said: “High energy bills are one of the biggest worries for families, which is why we’re maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee at its current level.
“With energy bills set to fall from July onwards, this temporary change will bridge the gap and ease the pressure on families, while also helping to lower inflation too.”
You can find out more information about the extension here.
When is the final energy grant instalment?
The discount which started in October and was paid in instalments over six months, finished this month.
Householders received instalments of £66 in October and November 2022, rising to £67 per month from December through to March 2023.
Unlike the low-income, disability and pensioner support, this scheme has not been extended, meaning it will end after March, and people will have to pay more on their energy bills.
What other cost of living payments are there?
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
The money will be paid in three separate payments.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued the following guideline:
- £301 – paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people on DWP benefits
- £300 – second payment during autumn 2023 for most people
- £299 – third payment during spring 2024 for most people
That means people will receive £601 this year, with the remaining £299 paid in 2024.
The money will be added automatically into the account which is used to receive benefit payments.
The payment reference will be DWP COLP, along with your national insurance number.
DWP warns if you receive a cost of living payment, which is then decided you were not eligible for, you may have to pay it back.
£150 disability cost of living payment
You may be entitled to a disability cost of living payment of £150 if you get any of the following benefits on a certain date:
- 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
Most people will be paid the £150 disability cost of living payment during the summer of 2023.
The payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefits 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 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
For more information on cost of living payments, you can go to the government website here.