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The Chancellor's announcement on cost of living support

27 May 2022

On Thursday 26 May, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a series of measures designed to ease the pressure that the cost of living crisis is putting on people’s finances. We thought you might find it useful if we laid out these announcements in a way that makes it clear what help everyone can expect to receive in the coming months.

They are as follows:

Grant for energy bills

From October, all households in England, Scotland and Wales will get a grant of £400, that they don’t have to pay back, to help with energy bills. It’ll be spread over six months, and will be credited to the accounts of people who use direct debit and credit to pay their bills, while people with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

This replaces the £200 loan that was previously announced and was going to have to be paid back.

Benefits top-up

This will consist of two payments of £325, the first of which will be paid in July and will go to anyone who receives, or has begun a claim as of 25 May that is later successful for, one of the following benefits:

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

It’s tax-free and doesn’t count towards the benefit cap or impact any existing benefit payments. The criteria for the second payment, due to be paid in the autumn, hasn’t been announced yet.

Disability Benefit top-up

Anyone receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Armed forces independence payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Constant attendance allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Scottish disability benefits
  • War pension mobility supplement

Or anyone who has applied for them as of 25 May and is ultimately successful, will receive a £150 payment in September. It’ll be paid into the account the recipient gets their benefits paid into. The payment isn’t taxed and doesn’t count towards the benefit cap or affect any existing benefit payments. Anyone who has swapped disability payments for mobility aids under the ‘Motability Scheme’ can still get the payment – details on how exactly this will work haven’t been confirmed yet.

Pensioner Winter Fuel Allowance

Anyone who qualifies for winter fuel payments (you can check on the Government website, www.gov.uk) will get a £300 payment in November or December, via direct debit.

None of these payments stop you from getting any of the others – if you qualify for more than one of them, you’ll get all the payments you’re entitled to. The Government has also topped up the Household Support Fund, which is paid to councils and which they use to help people with the rising costs of food and bills. Each council has its own criteria for how they give out this money, so if you’re still worried about getting by then it’s worth checking with your local council to see if you might qualify for the fund.

Grant for energy bills
Benefits top-up
Disability Benefit top-up
Pensioner Winter Fuel Allowance

If you’re unsure about what benefits you might qualify for, you can check out the Benefits and financial support page on our website. There’s also contact information on there for our Welfare Advice Team, who help our residents make sure they’re getting all the help they’re entitled to.

Government cost of living support factsheet

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