Guidance

Cost of Living Payment

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

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You may be able to get a payment 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. The payments will be made separately from your benefit or tax credits.

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

Low income benefits

You may get a payment of £650 paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324 if you’re getting any of the following:

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

You will not get a payment if you get New Style Employment and Support Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, unless you get Universal Credit.

Eligibility

To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either:

  • Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022
  • income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022

We will update this guidance when the government has announced the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.

If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £326 and one payment of £324 for your joint claim, if you’re entitled.

DWP is using a computer program to identify who should get a Cost of Living Payment. If you disagree with this, contact the office that pays your benefit and tell them why you disagree.

When you’ll be paid

Most of the first payments of £326 will be made between 14 July 2022 and the end of July 2022. We will update this guidance when payments have been made.

The payment will appear in your account or on your Payment Exception Service voucher as ‘DWP Cost of Living’.

You’ll get the second payment of £324 in autumn 2022, if you’re entitled.

If you also get a qualifying disability benefit, you may get an additional Disability Cost of Living Payment.

Tax credits

You may get a payment of £650 paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324 if you have an award of any of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Eligibility

To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022.

We will update this guidance when the government has announced the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.

If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £326 and one payment of £324 for your joint claim, if you’re entitled.

If you get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment for Child Tax Credit only.

If you get tax credits from HMRC and a low income benefit from DWP, you will get a Cost of Living Payment from DWP only.

When you’ll be paid

You’ll get the first payment of £326 from autumn 2022 and the second payment of £324 from winter 2022, if you’re entitled.

If you also get a qualifying disability benefit, you may get an additional Disability Cost of Living Payment from DWP.

Disability benefits

You may get a lump sum payment of £150 if you’re getting any of the following:

  • 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

Eligibility

You must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of one of these qualifying benefits for 25 May 2022 to get the payment.

If you get a qualifying disability benefit from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and a qualifying disability benefit from DWP, you will get a Disability Cost of Living Payment from DWP only.

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get the payment from September 2022.

If you also get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits, you may get an additional Cost of Living Payment.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023, you will get an extra £300 for your household paid with your normal payment from November 2022. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.

The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment you will get for winter 2022 to 2023 depends on your circumstances.

Your circumstances Born between 26 September 1942 and 25 September 1956 Amount if born on or before 25 September 1942
You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify) £500 £600
You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies £250 £350
You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies £250 £300
You qualify and live with a partner who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits £500 - only one of you will get the payment £600 - only one of you will get the payment
You qualify and live with someone (not your partner) who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits £500 - you’ll both get the payment £600 - you’ll both get the payment
You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits £250 £300

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 26 May 2022
Last updated 5 July 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added that DWP is using a computer program to identify who should be paid and what to do if you disagree with this.

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

  3. Clarified the Winter Fuel Payment amounts if you live with someone and either of you gets certain benefits.

  4. Added that if you're on a low income benefit from DWP, most of the first Cost of Living Payments of £326 will be made between 14 July 2022 and the end of July 2022.

  5. Updated the guidance to to clarify qualifying dates, payment dates, how the payments will be made and how the payments to people on low income benefits and tax credit will be split.

  6. In the sections on low income benefits and tax credits, clarified when you will not get a Cost of Living Payment. Added how much Winter Fuel payment you could get for winter 2022 to 2023.

  7. First published.