DWP announce more details on next round of cost of living payments

Campaigners say announcement amounts to a cut in the support available to households in fuel poverty next winter.

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Today, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) released further information about the payment schedule for the next tranche of cost of living support announced in the Autumn Statement.

The new £900 cash boost for over eight million eligible means-tested benefit claimants, including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and tax credits, begins in the spring and will be sent directly into bank accounts in three instalments over the financial year.

In addition to their Winter Fuel Payments, over six million disabled individuals will get £150 and over eight million pensioners will receive £300.

Individuals who are qualified will be paid automatically and will not need to submit an application. Claimants who qualify for any of the Cost of Living Payments and tax credits, but no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HMRC shortly after DWP payments are given.

The precise payment windows will be communicated closer to the due date, however they are spaced out over a longer time frame. This, according to the government, will maintain a continuous assistance offering throughout the year.

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023
  • £150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
  • £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

The Energy Price Guarantee continues to control energy bills, saving the average home around £900 this winter and £500 in 2023/24.

Benefits, including those for those of working age and the State Pension, will increase inline with inflation beginning in April 2023, resulting in an increase of around 10%.

And in April, the National Living Wage will get its largest ever cash increase, raising it to £10.42 per hour, while the Household Support Fund in England will receive a further year-long extension and £1 billion in devolved country funds.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Mel Stride said: “We are sticking by our promise to protect the most vulnerable and these payments, worth hundreds of pounds, will provide vital support next year for those on the lowest incomes.

“The government’s wider support package has already helped more than eight million families as we continue to deal with the global consequences of Putin’s illegal war and the aftershocks of the pandemic.”

However, anti-poverty campaigners claim that the financial support package offered for 2023/24 is far less substantial than 2022/23.

While the Energy Price Guarantee will continue to cap the unit cost of energy, beginning on 1 April 2023, all energy bills will increase by 20%, coinciding with the end of the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

In 2022/23, the most disadvantaged households received up to £1,500 in assistance. According to media sources, the amount will decrease to £1,350 in 2023/24. A 10% reduction in aid.

These adjustments are in addition to the significant increases in energy expenses that many Economy 7 customers noticed on their bills beginning on January 1, 2023.

Simon Francis, co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented: “This winter we have seen over 9m adults living in Dickensian conditions in cold damp homes.

“Yet despite energy bills increasing by 20% from April 2023, the support for the most vulnerable announced by the Government has not increased from last year.

“In short, bills are going up, support is going down and households will be worse off than they were this winter.

“While we support the principle of prioritising support for those who need it the most, the Government must go further to help the millions of homes in fuel poverty throughout 2023.

“This does mean more financial support, but also non-financial measures such as banning the forced transfer of households onto more expensive pre-payment meters.”

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