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Over seven million people receive £301 cost-of-living payments

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

Payments of £301 have been made to more than seven million people by the Government, since it began dishing out the money on April 25.

This £301 payment is the first of three new cost-of-living payments worth up to £900 which are being paid to those who are eligible for them.

More than eight million people are eligible for the new payments and for those who have not yet received the money, they do not need to contact anyone and it will be paid by May 17.

Around one million people who receive legacy benefits, such as tax credits, began receiving their £301 payments yesterday and these will be paid by May 9.

The money being paid is to help eligible low-income households to cope with rising prices. It is for those who receive means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit in 2023/24.

There are three payments in total, which are of different amounts, and there will be further payments worth £150 for eligible disabled people and £300 for pensioners due later this year. This means that the most vulnerable can receive up to £1,350 in help from the Government.

The cost-of-living crisis is putting financial pressure on millions of people as they struggle to cope with higher costs. Three quarters of adults have cut back because of rising prices and over a quarter are using credit to cope, according to a recent report from the Resolution Foundation.

Demand for emergency food parcels has also hit a new record in the last year with three million handed out , including more than a million to children, according to the Trussell Trust.

Payments are sent out automatically

The cost of living payments will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients. Those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. The payment reference for bank accounts will be DWP COL, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.

If the money has not arrived after May 17, anyone who thinks they should have received it can contact the DWP via a form on the Gov.uk website.

They are being paid to those who receive one of the following benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

The DWP is also urging anyone who thinks they may be eligible to check a free benefits calculator. It comes as this week it was revealed that around £19 billion is unclaimed every year in benefits.

‘Those on the lowest income are protected’

Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “Paying more than 7 million households £301 in a little over a week underlines our commitment to ensure those on the lowest income are protected from the worst of rising prices and give them peace of mind.

“With further payments due to be made later this year and in 2024, we will continue to provide support to those who need it most while we tackle inflation and grow the economy.”