When is the cost of living payment? 2nd CoL Grant, Energy Discount and Winter Fuel Payment Dates Explained

The government introduced a range of support measures to tackle the UK’s cost of living crisis, ranging from a £150 disability allowance to a one-time council tax refund earlier this year .

It came as households battle soaring energy prices, with Liz Truss intervening to announce that the energy price cap would be frozen at £2,500 a year from October, rather than to increase to £3,549 as previously announced.

Among the payments yet to be issued in the autumn and winter are the second part of the cost of living payment of £650, a staggered discount of £400 on energy bills and the winter fuel payment.

Here’s everything we know about when these supports start and who’s eligible to receive them.

When is the second cost of living payment?

The cost of living payment of £650 is paid to people on means-tested benefits and is split into two installments.

On Monday October 3, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) updated its guidance, revealing that the second payment will arrive between Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 23 November 2022 for the majority of applicants.

He previously said the payment would be made sometime in “fall 2022”.

This includes those on means-tested, low-income benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support and Pension Credit, which the government says covers more than eight million households.

The DWP says it will “make a small number of payments on November 8, with the number increasing significantly from November 9.”

However, applicants who qualify for payment only through tax credits will have to wait a little longer.

Energy prices have now been frozen after a series of hikes this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Having previously stated that this would happen in “winter 2022”, the current DWP guidelines are as follows: “These will be paid shortly after DWP payments and customers do not need to contact the government or request payment at any time.

For those on low-income benefits, the first payment of £650 began to land automatically in bank accounts from Thursday July 14.

Those eligible for tax credits then began to receive the first aid between Friday 2 and Wednesday 7 September, approximately seven weeks after the initial deployment.

The amount of each installment of the £650 cost of living payment is the same whether claimants qualify through means-tested benefits or through tax credits.

But instead of being equal amounts, the first part of the grant was £326and the second installment will be be £324.

According to the government, this is to prevent the risk of fraud: “Payments are designed to be deliberately slightly uneven to minimize the risk of fraud by those who may seek to exploit this system”.

If you are eligible for payment, you don’t need to apply – the £650 will be automatically submitted to you and should appear in your bank account with the code “DWP COL” or similar.

According to government guidelines, the payment is available to all households receiving means-tested benefits, including those receiving the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Income Support Benefit
  • Income support
  • Labor tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit

He said claimants must have received one of these benefits or started a successful claim by Wednesday, May 25.

Safer Cost of life

How is the energy rebate paid?

A £400 rebate on energy bills is paid to consumers in six monthly installments over the winter – starting in October – with the grants administered by energy suppliers.

The discount will break down into installments of £66 in October and November, rising to £67 per month from December to March 2023.

It should be provided monthly, whether people pay their bills monthly or quarterly or have a payment card associated with it.

Those who have a household electricity meter point and make payments by charge card, standard credit and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction from bills.

Many energy suppliers – such as Bulb, E.ON and Octopus Energy – automatically credit the amount to their customers’ accounts, which means the bills themselves will be reduced.

However, British Gas is one of a handful of companies charging customers their usual amount by direct debit and then crediting £66 to their bank account. It is the same method that is used by EDF, SSE and Ovo Energy.

People who use prepaid meters and top up their credit before using energy will receive discount vouchers the first week of each month.

These will be sent by SMS, email or post with the latest contact details customers have left with suppliers.

The energy rebate is paid in different ways by different suppliers (Picture: PA)

The discount also applies to students and other tenants renting properties with domestic electricity contracts from landlords where fixed energy costs are included in their rental charges.

In these circumstances, landlords reselling energy to their tenants must pass on discounted payments appropriately, in line with Ofgem’s rules to protect tenants.

The £400 energy payment is paid to every household in the country, with no means test.

The plan originally called for households to receive a £200 rebate on their energy bills in October, which would then be paid back over five years from 2023, with customers paying an additional £40 on their bills each year.

However, at the end of May – and after much criticism – Rishi Sunak, the then Chancellor, announced that the rebate would be increased to £400 and would no longer have to be repaid.

When can you expect to receive winter fuel payment?

People born on or before September 25, 1956 could be eligible for assistance of between £250 and £600 to help pay heating bills this year, known as the ‘winter fuel payment’.

This includes the pensioner cost of living payment, which is only in place for the winter of 2022 to 2023, and will be between £150 and £300.

The government says: “Most payments are made automatically in November or December. You should be paid by January 13, 2023. Check your account in November and December to make sure you’ve been paid.

You should receive the payment automatically and you don’t need to apply for it as long as you receive either the state pension or another social security benefit (you can see all the eligibility criteria here) .

If these circumstances do not apply, or if you live abroad, then you must make a claim, which you can do on the government website here – the deadline for this is March 31, 2023.

You cannot get the payment if you live in Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal or Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest part of the UK.

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