Rishi Sunak's opening statement on cost of living announcement
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Last week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced all households are to get a £400 payment to help through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. However, it was also announced there would be a £650 payment issued to households considered “most vulnerable”.
The higher payment is being made available to those on low incomes, such as people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.
Britons should be aware they could miss out on this £650 payment, with the eligibility criteria laid out by the Government.
Some will not be able to get the payment at all, while others will have to wait for longer to receive it.
The first reason as to why a person could miss out on the £650 cost of living payment is if they do not claim a means-tested benefit.
The higher sum is only being made to eligible benefits claimants, where their income and savings are taken into account.
This includes payments such as:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) states this payment will be made in two lump sums.
The first will be issued from July onwards, with the second following in the autumn.
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Britons will not have to do anything to receive the sum, as it will be paid directly into their bank account.
The Government states this direct one-off payment is worth £5.4billion in total.
Those who claim tax credits – Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit – will have to wait longer for the £650 payment.
This is because it will not be issued from July onwards, the Government has confirmed.
Instead, payments for tax credit households will not begin until the autumn.
This could be attributed to the fact tax credits are overseen by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rather than the DWP.
Another reason as to why people may end up missing out on the payment is the date at which they were claiming means-tested benefits.
Individuals need to have been entitled to one of the qualifying benefits on May 25, 2022 to get the first payment.
If they were not, then they could lose out on the first tranche, but potentially benefit from the second.
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Britons who are claiming other benefits may also miss out on the higher £650 payment.
This includes those claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance.
However, the Government is issuing a separate payment to individuals receiving disability benefits.
This payment will be worth £150 in total to provide additional support to these people.
The Government has said disabled people are one of the groups who are most vulnerable to rising prices.
Rishi Sunak said: “We know that people are facing challenges with the cost of living and that is why I’m stepping in with further support to help with rising energy bills.
“We have a collective responsibility to help those who are paying the highest price for the high inflation we face. That is why I’m targeting this significant support to millions of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“I said we would stand by people and that is what this support does.”
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