With the cost of living crisis hitting families hard, the government has announced a £1.5bn support package to support households, due to roll out next month.
With the rollout looming, it’s important to know all about how much you’re getting paid and when it’s coming. Later this year, each household will get a £400 cut on their energy bills and, unlike the previous £200 loan, it won’t need to be repaid.
Millions of people will also receive an additional £650 which will be split over two payments, with the first coming next month. Those who will benefit from this additional payment to those who currently receive seven means-tested benefits.
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Anyone on disability benefit will also receive a £150 benefit. However, some people have criticized the disparity in payment levels, with a petition calling for the amount given to people on disability benefits to be increased to £650.
As a result, the issue has been raised with MPs asking why some have been excluded from the higher level of cost of living support. David Rutley, DWP welfare minister, said while the £650 is not directly for people on PIP and Caregiver Allowance, some of them will end up qualifying for it. This is because they also receive a means-tested benefit, such as Universal Credit, Income Support or Tax Credits, and would therefore be eligible for the £650 on that basis.
This means that people on Carer’s Allowance would not be eligible for the £650 alone, but they could get other state support that would allow them to get the full amount. It is this ‘dual benefit’ status that may seem to circumvent the rules – those who only receive PIP and care allowance will unfortunately not be eligible at all.
Mr Rutley said: “The one-off means-tested £650 cost-of-living payments have been designed to target support for 8 million low-income households, on means-tested benefits. The payment of the Personal Independence and Carer’s Allowance are not means-tested, but clients who benefit and others are not means-tested [benefits] who are also entitled to a means-tested eligible benefit will receive the payment.
“This means that almost 60% of those of working age who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will receive a cost of living payment. In addition, 6 million disabled people who receive qualifying disability benefits means-tested, including personal independence payments, will receive a one-time disability cost of living payment of £150.
“Where people meet the criteria for both types of payments, they will receive both the £650 and the £150, and carers living in the same household as the disabled person they are caring for will benefit from payment of the cost of the payments will be made automatically in September, bringing total household support this year to £37bn.”
On the issue of contribution-based Employment Support Allowance and other non-means-tested benefits, Mr Rutley said: “The government is committed to managing public finances in a responsible by targeting £650 cost of living payment support to low-income-tested households where they need it most Cost of living payments have been designed to target support to low-income households, on means-tested benefits.
“These payments come on top of the £400 of energy bill support the government is providing through the expansion of the energy bill support scheme, doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year and making the whole £400 non-refundable In addition, people may be able to qualify for Disability and Retirement Allowances for the cost of living if they receive Disability Benefits or are eligible for Allowances winter fuel.
“In addition to the new support, people with low incomes but not subject to a means test can also benefit from previously announced measures to help people with the cost of living. municipal tax refunds and the new National Living Wage increase to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.”