Millions of households across the UK will receive a £301 payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between April 25 and May 17.
It is the first of three payments, totalling up to £900, for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit or pension credit, in 2023/24.
There will also be further payments worth £150 for eligible people with disabilities and £300 for pensioners due later this year, meaning some people will receive up to £1,350 in direct payments.
Scammers may use cost-of-living payments as a fresh opportunity to try and trick people into handing over their banking details or money, by purporting to represent government organisations.
However, the £301 payment will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients – meaning those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it.
The payment reference for bank accounts will be “DWP COLP”, along with the claimant’s national insurance number.
Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “These payments will give a financial boost to more than 8 million households as we continue to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable, while the best way we can protect people from high costs is to halve inflation by the end of this year.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Not only are we providing £900 in direct cash payments to millions of the most vulnerable households, we’ve also extended the energy price guarantee to hold bills down until energy prices fall, raised the national living wage to £10.42, put an end to the prepayment meter premium and delivered a plan that will more than halve inflation this year – ensuring everyone’s incomes go further.”
Just over 8 million households across the UK will receive the £301 payment this spring.
Benefit recipients who will qualify for the upcoming cost-of-living payment also include those who receive income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, working tax credit and child tax credit.
In general, to be eligible for the new £301 cost-of-living payment, someone must have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit within a certain timeframe.
For universal credit, if someone had an assessment period ending between January 26 2023 and February 25 2023 that resulted in an entitlement to money, they will also be entitled to the £301 cost-of-living payment.
For other DWP means-tested benefits, people generally should have received a payment between January 26 and February 25 2023 to qualify for the £301 cost-of-living payment.
The DWP is also encouraging low-income pensioners not already getting pension credit to check their eligibility, as they can still qualify for the £301 cost-of-living payment if they make a successful backdated pension credit application by May 19.
Households on low incomes are also being encouraged to contact their local council to see what support is available for essential food and energy costs through the household support fund.
Those who are eligible for the £301 cost-of-living payment solely through tax credits and are not eligible through DWP means-tested benefits, will be paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shortly after DWP payments start.
HMRC will publish specific details of when payments will be made to these people.
More information about cost-of-living payments is available at gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payments-2023-to-2024.