Millions of people on benefits are to receive a £299 cost of living payment over the coming days but some may miss out if they do not meet two criteria.
The payment is the final instalment of a £900 cost of living payment going out to eligible people over this financial year, including those on these benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit.
A person needs to have claimed one of these benefits during the qualifying week between November 13 and December 12 last year to get the payment.
But some claimants will still not be eligible for the funds. The first reason is if you were on a nil award for the qualifying period, meaning you were not entitled to a payment during that time.
This may occur if a person had money deducted from their benefits for payment of a debt or to pay for their rent, to the point this used up all their payment.
The other reason you may not be entitled to the payment applies to those on tax credits. If you claim tax credits and your entitlement for the tax year is below £26, you won’t receive the payment.
Those who are eligible should receive the funds automatically. The payments are going out between February 6 and February 22, apart from for those on tax credits. In this case, the funds will be paid between February 16 and February 22.
The payment will be a welcome help for Britons bracing for rising costs this year. In April, mobile and broadband bills will increase as well as water bills.
Uswitch calculated that the increase could cost the individual consumer around £27.19 more a year for broadband and £24.23 for mobile bills on average.
Water bills are set to increase by up to £71 a year from the start of April. Hafren Dyfrdwy has the highest increase for customers with bills soaring by 19 percent. Their bills will go from £362 in 2023/2024 to £433 in 2024/2025.
The next highest increase is from Wessex Water which will see an increase of 12.1 percent, meaning bills will rise from £489 to £548 over the same period.
However, there will be some Government payment increases from April as well, as benefits increase 6.7 percent while the state pension is going up 8.5 percent.
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