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Eight million UK households to receive £299 cost of living payments

Cost of living crisis. Money on a home radiator heater. Rising cost of energy and bills
The latest cost of living payments arrive on Tuesday. (Ink Drop)

Eight million households on means-tested benefits will receive £299 as their final cost of living payment to help with high food and energy bills from this Tuesday.

Payments will be made across the UK by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 6 and 22 February.

Those receiving tax credits only will receive payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 16 and 22 February.

The payments will be sent out automatically and recipients do not need to apply to receive them.

Millions of Britons are eligible for the £299 payment, the last of three instalments that totalled £900, but there are certain circumstances which could mean households lose out on this vital support.

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The cost of living payment for benefit claimants will show up on bank statements as their National Insurance number followed by DWP COL.

Read more: How to report ‘unusually high call volumes’ messages, according to Martin Lewis

Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, said: “The economy has turned a corner, and with inflation falling we are providing millions of the most vulnerable households with another significant cash boost.”

Who receives this cost of living payment?

The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the third cost of living payment are those who are eligible and receive at least one of the following:

  • Universal Credit;

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;

  • Income Support;

  • Working Tax Credit;

  • Child Tax Credit;

  • Pension Credit

What to do if you haven’t received your cost of living payment

Before reporting a missing payment, check your bank, building society or credit union account, or your Payment Exception Service voucher receipt. The payment will be made separately from your benefit.

If you were expecting a cost of living payments but have not received it, you can report it as missing here.

What other help is available?

According to figures released by the Insolvency Service last week, the number of people needing breathing space from their debts jumped by 25% in 2023, compared with the previous year.

This is a scheme which gives someone in debt protection from their creditors — meaning they must stop legal action against a person while the breathing space is in place.

Read more: What is the First Homes scheme and who is eligible?

Across England and Wales, there were 88,390 registered breathing spaces in 2023, comprised of 86,928 standard and 1,462 mental health breathing space registrations, the Insolvency Service said.

A standard breathing space is available to people with problem debt and gives legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days.

Cold weather payments

A cold snap at the start of the year saw many postcodes qualify for the cold weather payment. If you live in an area that has experienced seven or more days of temperatures at or below zero, you are eligible for £25 for every seven days of cold. In Scotland, this scheme was recently replaced with the winter heating payment.

Warm home discount

If you are on a low-income and have high energy costs, you could get a one-off £150 payment to help with your bills. You will also qualify if you get the guarantee credit element of pension credit.

The discount should be applied to your energy bills between October 2023 and March 2024. The scheme works slightly differently for Scottish applicants.

Read more: How to get help with your energy bills in the cold weather

You should receive a letter in January 2024 if you might be eligible. If you do not, you should contact the DWP before 29 February 2024.

Winter fuel payment

You will automatically qualify for this if you are over the state pension age (66 years old) and live in the UK.

The discount grants you between £250 and £600 to help pay your heating bills. You do not need to apply if you currently receive a state pension, or most other benefits. If you do not, you may need to apply.

The discount money should have automatically entered your account in October or November.

Watch: Govt: Most vulnerable to get significant support this winter

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