One million people still waiting for vital cost of living direct payments – help you can get now | The Sun

One million people still waiting for vital cost of living direct payments – help you can get now | The Sun

July 22, 2022

ONE million hard-up households are still waiting for vital cost of living cash.

The first half of the £650 support started hitting people's bank accounts from July 14.

Around 7.2million payments have already been made to eligible people who are on Universal Credit and certain other benefits.

The cash to help with bills and essentials which have shot up in price is due to go to 8.2million people.

It leaves around one million on the lowest incomes still waiting for the cost of living payment.

The government has said that most people will get the cash by July 31, with some exceptions.

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it's because there are millions of payments that need to go out and they can't all be processed on a single day.

Cash-strapped families have turned to online forums to share their frustration over not getting the cash yet.

One said: "If I don't get it tonight I'm going to slowly give up. My sister had hers, her partner, her friend everyone but me but I'm the one with children to feed."

Another said: "I'm so stressed and worried I'm not going to get this payment."

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Those on benefits are not told beforehand if they are getting the cash or not and there is no set day for the money to be paid out.

People will only know for certain they are getting the payment when it's in their account.

It can be seen in back accounts with the reference "DWP Cost of Living Payment".

The government said that £2.4billion worth of payments have now gone out.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said: "I know that people are finding things difficult with rising prices and increasing pressure on household budgets. 

"That’s why we’re taking action to control inflation and providing immediate help for households.

"It’s so important that over 7million vulnerable households have received £326 direct payments so far and there is also more help to come, with 8million of the most vulnerable households receiving £1,200 of direct support to help with bills over the winter.”

Further payments will come this winter including for those with disabilities, pensioners, and every single energy bill payer.

Who's eligible for the £650 cost of living payment?

The £650 cash boost was announced by ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a package of measures to help families on Universal Credit and other benefits through the current crisis.

Those on the following benefits will get the help:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

The first part of the payment is worth £326 and will be paid from July 14 and should arrive by the end of the month for most.

Those on tax credits are among those facing a wait, and will get the payments at a later date in Autumn and Winter, with an exact date to be confirmed.

The cash will be paid later to avoid people getting paid twice if they get any of the other qualifying benefits on top of tax credits.

To get the first payment, you will need to be in receipt of any of these eligible benefit payments between April 26 and May 25 this year, or have started a claim by this date and later be successful.

Some people on Universal Credit will miss out too if they are awarded £0 in the qualifying period.

This can happen if you're in work and get a bonus payment that would reduce Universal Credit to zero, for example.

Or if you're paid every four weeks and two salary payments fall in one monthly Universal Credit assessment period, meaning you get nothing for that month.

If you're not eligible for this first payment you could still get the second worth £324, including if you start claiming the benefits above.

There will be a later cut-off date for the second payment, which has not yet been announced.

Both payments are tax-free, don't affect your benefit amount and don't count towards the benefit cap.

Extra help you can get now

If you're waiting for the cost of living payment to arrive – or are not eligible – there's other support you might get.

There are schemes offered by energy suppliers, local councils, charities and the government that could help.

If you're struggling with energy costs or other bills there are plenty of organisations where you can seek advice for free, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

You should speak to your energy supplier in the first instance as they have schemes in place to help with bills and arrears, including hardship funds and grants.

For example, British Gas and Octopus have set up funds worth up to £1,500 to help customers who are struggling with their bills.

Your local council may also be able to help with cash and grants if you are struggling with bills or food through the Household Support Scheme.

You should also check that you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

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Use an online benefits calculator to make sure you're not missing out on any extra cash.

Similarly, you can search for charity grants that help you pay for gas and electricity bills.

Cost of living payments: what you need to know

  • All the key dates for cost of living payments revealed
  • Every household will get a £400 cost of living payment to help with energy bills
  • See the full list of benefits eligible for £650 cost of living cash
  • Here's free cash you can get if you DON’T qualify for the £650 cost of living payment
  • Millions of pensioners will get a £300 cost of living payment this winter
  • Disabled Brits will get £150 this September
  • Parents can get up to £200 towards school uniform costs

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