MILLIONS of hard-up households are set to start getting the £650 cost of living payment from today.
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extra cash would be dished out as part of a £15 billion emergency package for low income households.
But many people are not clear on whether they’ll get the extra cash – including pensioners.
More than eight million households will receive the help, which will be paid in two instalments.
The first instalment is worth £326 and will land in bank accounts from today – payments will be staggered from now on.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) say applicants may not receive money at the same time.
The DWP said it’s because there are millions of payments that need to go out and they can’t all be processed on a single day.
That means, if yours hasn’t come in today, it might take another couple of weeks.
Do pensioners get Cost of Living payment?
Everyone on means-tested benefits will get the cash as part of a package of plans announced by the government.
That means those on Universal Credit and legacy benefits like tax credits will get the help.
The lowest income pensioners who receive Pension Credit will be eligible for the £650 one-off payment.
They will also get a separate £300 payment, which is being given to low income pensioners this winter.
The big payment along with the separate £300 would add up to £950.
When will pensioners receive their cost of living payment?
Pensioners should expect the £300 extra payment to arrive in November or December.
Otherwise, the £650 one-off payment will be arriving from today like everybody else.
However, do keep in mind the DWP’s latest reveal – it might still take a couple of weeks to come through.
Look out for the exact code on your bank statement to see whether it’s been paid.
What other help is available for pensioners?
If you aren’t eligible for the extra £650 cost of living payment, don’t worry – there are plenty of other schemes there to give you a helping hand.
For example, pensioners are eligible for a cold weather payment starting from November.
As temperatures drop, bills can rise, so if it hits zero degrees Celsius or below for at least seven days, some households are eligible for a £25 payment to help with essential costs.
The cold weather payment scheme is only open between November 1 and March 31 each year to cover the winter months.
You have to meet some requirements to get this support, such as being in receipt of:
You will be able to check whether your area is due a payment by using the government’s online tool.
There are also always energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling, like the British Gas hardship fund which can lend you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.
Contact your supplier directly to see what they offer, what the eligibility requirements are, and how much you can get.
If you don’t know who your supplier is, you can find out here.
In terms of council funds, the Household Support Fund helps families with the rising cost of living, has been extended.
This help could include cash grants to pay bills or cover food costs – the help will depend on where you live.
For example, residents in Blackpool can get as much as £300, depending on their circumstances.
To find out what support is available in your area, contact your local council.
Meanwhile, anyone over 50 can grab free pension advice – find out if you are eligible.
Plus, a pensions expert explains why millions may have £13,000 sitting in a lost retirement cash pot.