Guidance

Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024

Guidance on getting extra payments to help with the cost of living if you’re entitled to certain benefits or tax credits.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

This page will be updated when more information is available. Check back for updates or sign up for email alerts.

You may be able to get up to 5 payments to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.

You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible at a later date.

If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.

These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you get.

Low income benefits and tax credits Cost of Living Payment eligibility

You may be entitled to up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 if you get any of the following benefits or tax credits on certain dates:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

The payment will be made separately from your benefit payments.

You will not get a payment if you are only getting New Style ESA, contributory ESA, or New Style JSA.

If you have a joint claim on the qualifying dates, a single payment of £301, £300 and £299 will be sent using the same payment method used between these dates, if you’re eligible.

£299 Cost of Living Payment eligibility

Universal Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £299 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 13 November 2023 to 12 December 2023.

Income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £299 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 13 November 2023 to 12 December 2023.

You are also eligible if you are entitled to one of these benefits for any day during this period but you do not receive a benefit payment because your entitlement is between 1 penny and 9 pence.

Tax credits

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £299 if you received a payment of tax credits for any day in the period 13 November 2023 to 12 December 2023, or if you later receive a payment for any day in that period.

£300 Cost of Living Payment eligibility

Universal Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £300 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023.

Income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £300 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023.

You are also eligible if you are entitled to one of these benefits for any day during this period but you do not receive a benefit payment because your entitlement is between 1 penny and 9 pence.

Tax credits

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £300 if you received a payment of tax credits for any day in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023, or if you later receive a payment for any day in that period.

£301 Cost of Living Payment eligibility

Universal Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £301 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023.

Income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £301 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023.

You are also eligible if you are entitled to one of these benefits for any day during this period but you do not receive a benefit payment because your entitlement is between 1 penny and 9 pence.

Tax credits

You are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment of £301 if you received a payment of tax credits for any day in the period 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023, or if you later receive a payment for any day in that period.

When you will not be eligible: DWP benefits

You will not be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment if your benefit is reduced to £0 for the qualifying period. This is sometimes called a ‘nil award’.

Reasons your benefit may be reduced to £0 include:

  • you got more than one payment of earnings in your Universal Credit assessment period
  • your or your partner’s earnings went up
  • your or your partner’s savings went up
  • you started getting another benefit
  • you got a ‘sanction’ because you did not do something you agreed in your claimant commitment

You may still be eligible for a Cost of Living Payment if your benefit is reduced to £0 and one of the following applies:

  • money was taken off your benefit for other reasons, such as payments of rent to your landlord or for money that you owe
  • you had a hardship payment because you could not pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs

When you will not be eligible: tax credits

You will not be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment if your tax credits entitlement for the tax year is below £26.

Payment dates for low income benefits and tax credits Cost of Living Payment

Amount of payment Your benefit or tax credits Payment dates
£301 Universal Credit
Income-based JSA
Income-based ESA
Income Support
Pension Credit
Between 25 April and 17 May 2023 for most people
£301 Tax credits and no other low income benefit Between 2 May and 9 May 2023 for most people
£300 Universal Credit
Income-based JSA
Income-based ESA
Income Support
Pension Credit
Between 31 October and 19 November 2023 for most people
£300 Tax credits and no other low income benefit Between 10 November and 19 November 2023 for most people
£299 Universal Credit
Income-based JSA
Income-based ESA
Income Support
Pension Credit
Between 6 February and 22 February 2024 for most people
£299 Tax credits and no other low income benefit Between 16 February and 22 February 2024 for most people

If you’re getting both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment for Child Tax Credit only, which will be paid by HMRC.

If you’re getting tax credits from HMRC and a low income benefit from DWP, you cannot get a Cost of Living Payment from both HMRC and DWP. You will usually be paid by DWP only.

Your payment might come later, for example if you’re awarded a qualifying benefit at a later date or you change the account your benefit or tax credits are paid into. You will still be paid the Cost of Living Payment automatically.

If you have received a Cost of Living Payment, but we later find that you were not eligible for it, you may have to pay it back.

This guidance will be updated with the payment dates before each payment starts.

Disability Cost of Living Payment eligibility

You may be entitled to a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 if you’re getting any of any of the following benefits:

  • 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

You must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of one of these benefits for 1 April 2023 to get the Disability Cost of Living Payment.

If you were getting a qualifying benefit from the Ministry of Defence and a qualifying benefit from DWP, you will get a Disability Cost of Living Payment from DWP only.

If you receive a Disability Cost of Living Payment, but we later find that you were not eligible for it, you may have to pay it back.

Guidance on the Disability Cost of Living Payment is also available in easy read format. Disability Cost of Living Payment easy read (PDF, 2.45 MB, 8 pages)

Payment dates for the Disability Cost of Living Payment

Most people were paid the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment automatically between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023.

Payments were made to people who were getting a qualifying disability benefit from DWP before payments to people who were getting a qualifying benefit from the Ministry of Defence.

Your payment might come later, for example if you’re awarded a qualifying benefit at a later date or you change the account your benefit is paid into. You will still be paid the Cost of Living Payment automatically.

Find out how to report a missing Cost of Living Payment

Most people should have received their £301 and £300 Cost of Living Payments and £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment for 2023.

Find out how to report a missing Cost of Living Payment, if you think you should have had one of the following payments, but you cannot see it in your bank, building society or credit union account:

  • £301 paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people
  • £300 paid between 31 October and 19 November 2023 for most people
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment paid between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023 for most people

The £299 Cost of Living Payment for a low income benefit will be paid between 6 February and 22 February 2024 for most people. You will be able to report it missing from 23 February 2024.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.

The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment (including the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) you will get for winter 2023 to 2024 depends on when you were born and your circumstances during the qualifying dates.

You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 25 September 1957.

You will be sent a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get if you’re eligible.

2022 Cost of Living Payments

This guidance is about Cost of Living Payments being made in 2023 and 2024. You can read about the Cost of Living Payments in 2022 in separate guidance.

Other help

Find out what other benefits and financial support you might be able to get to help with your living costs.

Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what benefits you could get.

You may be able to get other kinds of support, including:

Published 13 March 2023
Last updated 13 December 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added the qualifying dates and payment dates for the £299 Cost of Living Payment for low income benefits and tax credits.

  2. If you were expecting a £300 Cost of Living Payment (paid between 31 October and 19 November 2023 for most people) and have not received it, you can now report it missing.

  3. Updated timings for the £299 Cost of Living Payment from 'spring 2024' to 'by spring 2024'.

  4. Added the qualifying dates and payment dates for the £300 Cost of Living Payment for low income benefits and tax credits.

  5. You can now report a missing Disability Cost of Living Payment by telephone.

  6. Added guidance on how to report a missing £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment.

  7. Added easy read guidance about the Disability Cost of Living Payment.

  8. Added the qualifying date and payment dates for the Disability Cost of Living Payment.

  9. Added link to report a missing £301 Cost of Living Payment for low income benefits and tax credits.

  10. Clarified that you will not get a Cost of Living Payment for a low income benefit if your benefit is reduced to £0 because you got a ‘sanction’ because you did not do something you agreed in your claimant commitment. But you may get a Cost of Living Payment if you had a 'hardship payment' because you got a 'sanction'.

  11. In the section about the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, corrected the eligibility date for the Winter Fuel Payment. You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 25 September 1957, not 24 September as the guidance previously said.

  12. The £301 Cost of Living Payment for people on tax credits and no other low income benefits will be paid between 2 and 9 May 2023 for most people.

  13. Published the eligibility dates and payment dates for the £301 Cost of Living Payment for people on a low income benefit.

  14. Added translation

  15. First published.