I’m a money expert – seven things you must do NOW to avoid missing out on cash as £301 cost of living payments start | The Sun

I’m a money expert – seven things you must do NOW to avoid missing out on cash as £301 cost of living payments start | The Sun

April 26, 2023

MILLIONS of Brits have started receiving the first cost of living payment for 2023 this week.

Some eight million eligible Brits will have the £300 cash payment sent straight to their accounts, no application needed.

The payment will be worth £301 and will be followed by two more instalments – worth £299 and £300 – coming this autumn and Spring 2024.

The cash is designed to help Brits with the soaring cost of living, and will be paid between April 25 and May 17.

If you don't receive your payment, or aren't sure if you're eligible, there are things to do to ensure you get it.

The Sun spoke to Pete Hykin, finance expert and co-founder of Penfold, which provides people with private pensions, to find out more.

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He said: "I cannot stress enough the importance of being proactive to secure the £301 cost of living payment."

"Following these tips will give you the best chance of receiving the £301 cost of living payment without any hiccups.

"For personalized advice, always consult with a benefits expert or financial professional."

Verify your eligibility

First and foremost, Peter recommended "verifying your eligibility for the payment by consulting the government website or reaching out to your local benefits office".

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He added: "Understanding the specific criteria and requirements will ensure that you don't miss out on any payments you're entitled to."

You can check if you're eligible by heading to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website or by using a benefits checker like the one on MoneySavingExpert.com or Turn2Us.

Check your details

Pete said another vital thing people must do if they're expecting the £301 payment is to double check all the information they provided is up to date.

Any inaccuracy could mean you miss out.

He said: "Ensure all personal information, such as your address and contact details, is up-to-date with relevant agencies to avoid missing crucial correspondence.

"Regularly reviewing and updating your information can help prevent delays or miscommunications that could impact your payment. 

"Consider setting reminders to review your information at specific intervals, such as every six months."

Double-check your bank account details for accuracy

Be aware that mistakes in bank details could lead to delays in receiving the payment.

To avoid it, ensure that the account number, sort code, and other relevant information are correct to avoid any issues with the transaction.

Pete added: "Ensure that the information provided to the benefits agency matches your bank records."

"In case of any changes to your account, promptly inform the agency to avoid complications with future transactions."

Apply for benefits NOW

If you aren't currently enrolled for any benefits, then that doesn't mean you've missed out on the cost of living payment.

You just need to ensure you apply as soon as possible.

Pete said: "If you're not currently enrolled in benefits but believe you qualify, apply promptly to meet deadlines and avoid waiting periods.

"Investigate the application process and gather all necessary documentation to expedite your enrollment."

You'll be eligible for the payment if you were entitled to at least one of several benefits including Universal Credit between January 26, 2023 and February 25, 2023.

And if you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25, you will be eligible for the payment too.

However, those who claim child tax credit and working tax credit will start receiving the first instalment slightly later.

This is to ensure those on other benefits on top of tax credits aren't paid twice.

Keep up to date with changes

Pete also recommended staying informed about changes to benefits and the cost of living payment by regularly checking official sources and subscribing to updates.

He added: "This will enable you to react to any changes quickly and ensure that you continue to receive the maximum support you're entitled to."

You can do this by keeping up to date with your government gateway account to see where your benefits are at.

You could also make sure you're reading news sites that will report on benefits any money changes.

If you've been rejected for a certain benefit, try again

Just because you've been rejected for a benefit doesn't mean you won't qualify the second time.

It's important to be 100% transparent as something you deem unimportant may get you the benefit, and therefore the cost of living payment.

Pete said: "Review the rejection notice and understand the specific reasons for the denial.

"This will help you identify any errors or misunderstandings that may have occurred during the application process.

"Gather additional supporting documentation or evidence to address the issues raised in the rejection notice."

This could be proof of income, medical records, or other relevant information.

He then added: "Contact the relevant benefits agency to request a reconsideration of your application.

"Be prepared to provide the additional documentation and explain why you believe the original decision was incorrect.

If the reconsideration process is unsuccessful and you still believe you're eligible, consider seeking advice from a benefits expert or financial professional.

"They can help you navigate the appeals process and advocate for your eligibility."

Not got your payment? Make sure you don't miss out

Sometimes there can be delays with benefit payments and therefore the cost of living payments.

Pete said: "When you're already in line to obtain a benefit payment, certain behaviours or inactions might result in payment delays.

"For instance, neglecting to notify authorities about changes in your situation (such as an alteration in income or family status) can postpone your payment while the appropriate agency looks into the matter and updates your records."

He said if you submit inaccurate or partial information during the registration process or neglect to inform the authorities of substantial changes in your circumstances, you might be considered ineligible for the benefit.

What is the £900 cost of living payment and who is eligible?

The £900 cost of living payment is designed to help struggling households with essential costs, such as energy and food.

The payment, which is tax-free, has been split into three instalments worth £301, £300 and £299.

The second and third instalments are set to be paid in the autumn of this year and spring of 2024.

All in all, eight million people will receive the payment.

You'll be eligible for the payment if you were entitled to the following benefits between January 26 and February 25:

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Pension credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Universal Credit

But not everyone receiving the benefits listed above will qualify.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said that those receiving a Universal Credit "nil award" during the qualifying period won't get the free cash.

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Other benefits that don't qualify for the £301 one-off cost of living payment include:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer's allowance
  • Child benefit
  • Disability living allowance (DLA)
  • Contributory, or "new style", employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Guardian's allowance
  • Contribution-based, or "new style", jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • Maternity allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • State pension
  • Statutory adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental pay
  • Statutory sick pay

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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