Following the Chancellor’s Energy Payments announcement last month -
New energy payments announced by Chancellor
May 26, 2022
The Chancellor has just announced an extensive package to assist households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
This package will affect all households to some extent, dependent on circumstances, and some may be eligible for multiple payments.
The controversial £200 energy loan that was to be applied to all household electric bills in the autumn has been cancelled and replaced with a £400 non-repayable grant.
The Household Support Fund has also been increased to £500 million for anyone struggling to apply to their local councils for assistance.
- Low Income Payment: Benefit claimants will receive a £650 payment, made by the DWP direct to their bank accounts in 2 lump sum payments in July and later in the Autumn.
- Pensioner Payment: Pensioners who receive the Winter Fuel Payment are eligible for a £300 payment.
- Disability Payment: Disabled people who receive non-means-tested benefits such as DLA, PIP or Attendance Allowance will receive a £150 one off payment.
What does this mean for me?
Help with cost of living will apply to the whole of the UK. The maximum payment that you could receive if on means-tested benefits and PIP/DLA/Attendance Allowance (non-means tested) would be:
- £400 (discount on all domestic energy bills (paid in October): The Energy Bills Support Scheme),
- + £650 (means-tested benefits (Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and means-tested legacy benefits such as Income Related ESA) with a first payment in July, the second in the Autumn),
- + £150 (non-means tested disability benefits (PIP/DLA paid by September),
- = £1200
- + £300 if you are a pensioner (paid as part of Winter Fuel Allowance in November/December).
- And, you should have received - or will soon - a £150 rebate in Council Tax as part of the help being provided to cope with cost of living increases.
- Please read the Government's press release below to learn more. Payments will be made automatically to your bank account.
- Housing Benefit does not qualify you for additional payments beyond the £400 discount that all households will receive. If you only receive Housing Benefit with no additional means-tested benefit then consider applying for the Household Support Fund which is administered by your local council.
BBC News -
Every household to get energy bill discounts of £400 this autumn
Government Press Release -
Millions of most vulnerable households will receive £1,200 of help with cost of living
- Ella Smith, MEA Welfare Benefits Adviser.
During June, Ella Smith, the MEA’s Welfare Benefits Adviser, gave us two ‘Cost of Living Payment’ explanatory announcements.
First Instalment of the £650 payment for qualifying low income households.
Cost of living payment
June 15, 2022
The first instalment of the £650 payment for qualifying low income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be paid into bank accounts from 14 July 2022. This instalment will be an automated payment of £326 and the second payment later in the autumn will be £324. The government states that the payments are deliberately unequal due to the time periods used to decide who is eligible, in order to minimise fraud risks.
Anyone with an existing claim of the following benefits by 25th May 2022 will receive a payment: Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit. Tax credits claimants will receive their payment slightly later than other DWP benefit claimants to avoid duplicate payments to the same household.
This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
Qualifying households do not need to do anything to apply for this payment; it will be made automatically into the bank account they usually receive their qualifying benefit in.
The payment dates for the other cost of living assistance payments to pensioners and to those on qualifying disability benefits will be announced shortly.
Government Information -
Cost of Living Payment
- Ella Smith, MEA Welfare Benefits Adviser
Cost of Living Payment: Who is eligible for the £650?
June 22, 2022
Phoebe, one of the MEA champion bloggers discusses the Cost of Living Payment in a recent blog and highlights that not everyone seems to understand who is eligible to receive the payment and those who will not receive it.
“The £650 for people on benefits does not include disabled people who are on Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CB ESA). This however isn’t being made immediately clear, and I have spent a large portion of today trying to stop the spread of misinformation on Twitter, with many people confidently stating that everyone on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will be eligible for the £650, which is not the case. Only those on Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (IR ESA) will receive the £650.
It would be a mistake to assume that the government will help the most vulnerable first, despite them saying that they will help the most vulnerable first, but I can understand why it’s nice to think so. With this new information, you might be hoping that once people realise that people on Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CB ESA) are being excluded, they’ll make a fuss and it will be corrected? Again, I can understand why it’s nice to think that will be the case. Disabled people on ESA have been here before.”
Phoebe's blog ('Puffins and Penguins') is entitled: Rishi Sunak’s Cost of Living Crisis Measures - Disabled People on ESA Are Losing Out, Again
MEA Comments -
Ella Smith, Welfare Benefits Adviser provides the following information in relation to Phoebe's blog:
- People on Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance will not be transferred to UC, only those on Income Related Employment and Support Allowance will be put on the new system. This is exactly because Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that replaces the old, means-tested legacy benefits like Income Related Employment and Support Allowance. As Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance is contributions-based and not means-tested, it sits outside the Universal Credit scope.
- This is important when it comes to the cost-of-living payments because someone could be living in a household with a very high income or a lot of capital and still be able to receive Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CB ESA). This is not the case with means-tested benefits because the household circumstances are considered.
- If someone on Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CB ESA) has no other income or capital coming into the household, it is very likely that they can also claim a means-tested benefit alongside their Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance.
- Claiming a means-tested benefit is the only way to qualify for the £650 cost-of-living payment because this payment is targeted at LOW INCOME households. As discussed, someone on Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CB ESA) may not be living in a low-income household but everyone on means-tested benefits will be.
- Regarding the information discussed about the Warm Home Discount, this has only been reported in the Mirror newspaper as a potential change. No legislation or further details have been announced as yet by the government. The likelihood of this happening in the current climate is still uncertain but people who claim means-tested benefits in addition to disability payments such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) still seem highly likely to be able to receive the Warm Home Discount. The Mirror article is here, with no real details being given.
The Worcestershire M.E. Social Group’s website gives links to Social Media sites which maybe helpful to many people to discuss situations, or just to look and read other people’s postings.
• B.B.C. • Benefits • Government U.K.
• M.E. Association • Worcestershire M.E. Social Group