Low income households in Wales set to receive new cost-of-living payments from spring
Low-income households in Wales will receive fresh cost-of-living support from this spring, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
A new payments schedule has been announced with £900 of cash support available for eligible claimants in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.
The new round of cost of living payments starts in the spring and will go directly into bank accounts in three separate payments.
The £900 payment will be made up of three slightly different amounts, relating to specific qualifying periods, making it is simpler to determine if someone has received the correct payments, the DWP said.
There will also be a separate £150 payment for people with disabilities and £300 for pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.
The previous support package in 2022 included a £650 cost-of-living payment for means-tested benefit claimants, split into two payments, plus payments for people with disabilities, and pensioners.
Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, the Government said, adding that payments will be spread to ensure consistent support throughout the year.
Payments to those who are eligible will generally be automatic, so there will be no need to apply.
They will include a first cost-of-living payment of £301 made in spring 2023, a £150 disability payment during summer, a £300 second cost-of-living payment in autumn, a £300 pensioner payment during winter 2023/4 and a third cost-of-living payment of £299 made in spring 2024.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We are sticking by our promise to protect the most vulnerable and these payments, worth hundreds of pounds, will provide vital support next year for those on the lowest incomes.”
UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt added: “I know these are tough times for families across the UK who are struggling to meet rising food and energy costs, driven by the aftershocks of Covid and Putin’s war in Ukraine.
“These payments are on top of above-inflation increases to working-age benefits and the energy price guarantee, which is insulating millions from even higher global gas prices.
“Tackling inflation is this Government’s number one priority and is the only way to ease the strain of high prices, drive long-term economic growth and improve living standards for everyone.”
People should watch out for scammers sending fake cost-of-living messages attempting to trick people into handing over their personal information.
Claimants who are eligible for any of the cost-of-living payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HM Revenue and Customs shortly after DWP payments are issued.
Benefits, including working age benefits and the state pension, will rise in line with inflation from April 2023 by over 10%.
April will also see the biggest ever cash rise to the National Living Wage, bringing it to £10.42 an hour.
A £400 energy bill discount for households will continue to run through March.
Recent research from accountancy giant PwC and credit app TotallyMoney indicated that 8.9 million adults are showing signs that their finances are teetering on the brink – meaning that they may need to use their overdraft to cover everyday spending and essentials such as the food shop.
They may also struggle to keep up with repayments on their borrowing in 2023.
More information about the UK Government’s cost-of-living support and what is available is at helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk.
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