When is the next Cost of Living Payment?
As the dark winter months approach, it can become costly to heat our homes and keep the lights switched on. This is even more of a concern now we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis, with finances stretched even further.
For many, the Cost of Living Payment provided by the UK Government has been an essential boost to help them afford living costs, especially in the winter months. But when is the next payment due and how much is available?
What is the Cost of Living Payment?
The Cost of Living Payment is a direct, tax-free payment made to households to help with living costs and high energy prices. There have been several previous payments made, and more are scheduled through to 2024. The payments are made directly into your bank or building society, provided you’re eligible.
Cost of Living Payment — who gets it?
You might be wondering whether you’re due any Cost of Living Payments. To be eligible, you need to receive one of the following benefits or tax credits:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
You can find full details of the eligibility criteria on the Government’s website.
Do I apply for a Cost of Living Payment?
No, there’s no need to apply. If you’re eligible for a Cost of Living Payment it should be paid automatically, the same way you’d receive benefits or tax credits.
Think you should be entitled to a Cost of Living Payment but haven’t received it or had a missed payment? You can report these using this tool.
How much is the Cost of Living Payment?
Those on low-income or means-tested benefits may receive up to £900 in 2023–24, paid in three instalments of around £300 to help combat rising costs.
In addition, you may also receive an additional:
- £150 or £300 if you get a state pension and qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment
- £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment if you receive certain disability benefits
When is the next Cost of Living Payment?
The next Cost of Living Payment is due between 31st October and 19th November. It will be the second payment for 2023–24 and will be £300.
What are the Cost of Living Payment dates?
First announced in May 2022, initial payments were made in the second half of 2022. Then, a further package of payments were announced during November 2022, and agreed to be paid over the 2023–24 financial year.
For 2023–24, the Cost of Living Payment dates are:
- 25th April to 17th May 2023: £301 for those on Universal Credit, income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit
- 2nd May to 9th May 2023: £301 for those on tax credits and no other low income benefits
- 31st October to 9th November 2023: £300 for those on Universal Credit, income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit
- 10th November to 19th November 2023: £300 for those on tax credits and no other low income benefits
- Spring 2024 (dates to be announced): £299 for those on Universal Credit, income-based JSA, income-based ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit
- Spring 2024 (dates to be announced): £299 for those on tax credits and no other low income benefits
Will the Cost of Living Payment affect the benefits I normally receive?
If you do normally receive additional support, these benefits are not affected and will continue to go out as normal during Cost of Living Payments.
Tips for managing finances around the Cost of Living Payment
If you’re struggling with the cost of living, even after you’ve received these payments, you may find it beneficial to plan ahead so you can budget accordingly.
It might be worth using a budgeting method, such as the 50/30/20 budgeting rule to help you simplify how much money you should spend on your:
- Needs = 50%
- Wants = 30%
- Savings and debt = 20%
Having set categories to split your money between should help you organise and manage your finances more effectively.
If you’re eligible for the Cost of Living Payment, spending time plotting out which category this fund is going to sit in will give you a clear overview of your finances month to month.
It might also help to be prepared for any potential changes to the Cost of Living Payment schedule. For example, if the dates change, or even the amount payable changes.
If the payment is more than expected, you may wish to move this into a savings account, away from day-to-day spending (if you’ve budgeted for less). However, if the total amount ends up being less than you budgeted for, you might need to rethink and move some money around.
If you don’t qualify for the Cost of Living Payment but are still feeling the strain on your finances, there are some saving tips you can try day-to-day to help ease the pressure. Read our blog posts on how to take control of your savings, savings challenges, simplifying your finances and emergency funds to find advice to help your situation.
To stay updated on the latest announcements, visit the UK Government’s website for advice on Cost of Living payments. You’ll find a full breakdown of the support available, who’s eligible, the key payment dates and tips for financial planning.