Cost of living payments – what are they and who is eligible to receive them?
Most households responsible for paying their own electricity supply will have now received/still be receiving a deduction from their electricity bill, known as the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The total amount per household is £400, payable in 6 equal instalments from October 2022. For households paying to heat their homes with another heat source, the total rebate payable available from the Alternative Fuel Payment is £200.
If you pay your bills yourself, this should be discounted from the bill direct. If your rent is inclusive of bills, your landlord will receive the discount. However, as the ‘Intermediary’ they must pass on the discount on to you, the ‘End user’ in some way. This could be by not charging your more by increasing the inclusive rent for the fixed term and using the discount to protect tenants from the increase in electricity costs. Or they may simply pass on the benefit to you, the tenant. Whichever way, the landlord must have notified you in writing regarding their intentions.
If you do not understand how this is impacting you, we advise you to contact your landlord urgently for a detailed explanation. If anything is unclear, seems unfair or you have a dispute, you can come and talk to us. We do not claim to be experts in this field, so you may choose instead to seek further advice from Citizens Advice.
This scheme ends in March 2023, so make sure to check your eligibility and entitlement as soon as you can.
Some households will have also received £650 paid in 2 payments of £326 and £324 in 2022. This applied to those in receipt of a qualifying benefit between very specific 1 month timeframes, namely 26/4/22 – 25/5/22 and 26/08/22 – 25/9/22. If you were receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, (Income based) ESA or JSA and some other qualifying benefits during one of these periods, you would be eligible for 1 payment, if you were receiving these benefits during both periods, you should have received both payments.
A further Disability cost of living payment of £150 was awarded to people receiving DLA, PIP and some other qualifying benefits on 25th May 2022. This payment was made in late September/early October 2022.
Due to the confusing nature of these payments and qualifying periods, we encourage everyone who thinks they may be eligible to check their bank statements for these payments which will have a reference of DWP then ‘COL‘ for cost of living. If there has been a mistake or oversight, please follow the guidance on how to report a missing payment.
The next phase of Cost of Living payments commences later in spring and will affect low income households and those receiving qualifying disability benefit or pension – which could apply to you or your family.
- £301 for people on an eligible low income benefit, to be paid during spring 2023
- £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit, to be paid during summer 2023
- £300 for people on an eligible low income benefit, to be paid during autumn 2023
- £300 for pensioner households, to be paid during winter 2023 to 2024
For more information about the next rollout, please have look at the gov.uk announcement
The Office for Students (OfS) has also announced that universities will be given a financial contribution to help students experiencing financial difficulties. This is in addition to the university hardship funds which we already have in place. We will making an announcement soon about how this additional grant will be allocated and how you can apply for it, but in the meantime, please contact us in Student Advice if you need any help with your finances. The easiest way yo get in touch is by phone 01273 642888