Cost of Living Update

June 2022

With the cost of living increasing and inflation reaching its highest recorded level in April, it is no surprise that the UK is feeling anxious about what the rest of 2022 will bring. There have been a few headlines recently regarding the support package the Government has put in place to support households. The support available differs depending on individual circumstances and the information below is a summary of what is available, who is entitled, and how the money is expected to be paid.

£150 Council Tax Rebate

This started to be rolled out on 1st April, so you may have already received this payment if you are living in a property with a council tax band A to D. It is expected that the roll out will finish by September. If you are in one of those council tax bands and pay by direct debit, the money will be paid directly into your bank account. If you do not pay by direct debit, or get full council tax benefit, your local council should be in contact from April to arrange a way to pay you the rebate – this will need to be done by the end of September, so if you do not hear from them by the end of the summer, perhaps contact your council yourselves.

Non-repayable £400 energy grant

All households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive a grant of £400 to help towards the increasing costs of energy bills. This will be paid not as a lump sum but over the course of 6 months. For those with energy accounts being paid by direct debit or credit will have the money automatically credited into their accounts from October. For those on pre-paid meters the money will be applied to your meter or paid in vouchers. This grant is replacing the proposed £200 loan that was announced in February this year. Something similar is reportedly being offered to those in Northern Ireland.

£650 Cost of Living payment

This grant will be paid to those in the UK receiving one of the following means-tested benefits (or those who have applied  prior to 25th May): Child Tax Credit; Income-based Jobseekers Allowance; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income Support; Pension Credit; Universal Credit; Working Tax Credit. The payment will be sent in two separate instalments; the first in July and the second in the autumn and the money will go directly into the bank account your benefits are paid into. It will not have any impact on existing benefits.

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

The £300 payment will be paid in November or December for those of State Pension age that get the usual winter fuel payment – you will qualify for this payment if you are over state pension age between 19th and 25th September 2022 and you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 20 to 26 September 2021 (for the full list of requirements visit the Gov.uk website). This payment will be made by direct debt for most households and is not taxable and does not affect other benefit eligibility.

£150 one-off payment

People in the UK will be eligible for this if they are in receipt of any of the following disability benefits (or have made a claim before 25th May 2022): Armed Forces Independence Payment; Attendance Allowance; Constant Attendance Allowance; Disability Living Allowance; Personal Independence Payment; Scottish Disability Benefits; War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement. The £150 payment will be made in September and will be paid straight into the account the disability benefit is paid into. It is designed to help towards the cost of specialist equipment, food and increased transport costs. Those that have swapped disability benefits under the Motability Scheme will still be able to apply for this one off payment.

You may be entitled to one, multiple or all of the above depending on your circumstances, and if you would like any further advice please call the welfare team on 0800 917 8616. The welfare team may also be able to signpost you onto local welfare services available in your area if you are struggling financially as a result of the cost of living crisis.