Cost of Living – Government support

The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, and everyone at WCHG understands this, which is why we want to highlight some of the Government financial support that is available. For information on how we can help and support you, see our Customer Support page.

What is the cost of living crisis?

The cost of living crisis is when the increase in the cost of food, utilities such as gas and electricity, fuel and household essentials, is more than the increase in wage and benefits.

What support is available?

Cost of living payments:

£650 cost of living payment

The Government is giving £650 to people entitled to certain benefits and tax credits, to help people and families with cost of living pressures.

You should see the first payment of £326 come into your bank account from the 14 July, if you are a qualifying low-income household. The second payment of £324 will be made in the Autumn.

People receiving tax credits and no other eligible benefits will receive their first payment from HMRC in the autumn and the second in the winter. If you only claim tax credits you will receive your payment much later.

Residents claiming any of the following may be eligible to receive the payment:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment
  • Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

£150 one-off disability payment

This £150 will be paid to those on disability benefits in September, in addition to the above cost of living payment.

£300 one-off increase to Winter Fuel Payment

An extra £300 will be paid to pensioner households as an increase to their winter fuel payment, this will be paid from mid-November.


Q: How do people apply for these Cost of Living payments?

A: You do not need to apply for Cost of Living payments. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits.

Q: Will these payments affect other benefits?

A: These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits people already receive.

Q: How will I know if I am eligible? What are the qualifying dates and requirements?

A: To get the first Cost of Living payment of £326, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022 or income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022. For Tax Credit customers – To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, you must have received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits for any day in the period
26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022. GOV.UK will be updated when the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324 have been announced by the Government.

Q: When will the second Cost of Living payment be paid?

A: The Government will be communicating with customers when payment dates for the second payment of £324 are confirmed, but we expect this to be by the end of September 2022. Eligible people receiving tax credits only, will receive their second payment in Winter 2022.

Q: Why are the two amounts, of £326 and £324, slightly different?

A: This will help people to know they have received both payments and avoid the risk of fraud and duplicate payments.

Q: What if I get child tax credit and working tax credit?

A: If you get Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive one set of Cost of Living payments, linked to Child Tax Credits only.

Q: I get additional benefits. Will this affect how much I get?

A: If you receive tax credits from HM Revenue and Customs or a qualifying low income benefit from Department for Work and Pensions, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment from Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs. If you also get a qualifying disability benefit, you may receive an additional Disability Cost of Living Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions

Q: Why are tax credits customers getting paid later?

A: It's possible for customers to be entitled to both tax credits and other eligible benefits which are administered by Department for Work and Pensions. So, HM Revenue and Customs will make payments to eligible customers receiving tax credits only, shortly after Department for Work and Pensions, to avoid duplicate payments.

Useful links:
Check benefits and financial support you can get
Benefits calculators
Cost of Living Payment (GOV.UK)
Cost Of Living Factsheet
Cost Of Living campaign website