Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a series of additional support measures last month to tackle the UK’s cost of living crisis.
Soaring inflation and energy prices have hit households hard, adding hundreds if not thousands to annual bills.
The Chancellor confirmed the £200 energy rebate will be doubled to £400 and said it will no longer have to be repaid.
He also announced a windfall tax on energy companies and a £650 one-off payment to support the country’s most vulnerable.
Here’s how it will work, and the support that is in place for pensioners.
Who is eligible for the £650 grant?
The grant is being paid to people who receive means-tested benefits.
The Government says it will be given to more than eight million households, including those receiving the following:
- Universal credit
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Pension credit
This means pensioners are not eligible for the £650 grant, unless they receive pension credit.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) advises that claimants will need to be in receipt of one of these benefits, or have begun a successful claim, as of Wednesday 25 May.
If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £650 for both of you.
Means-tested benefits are awarded based on your income and how much capital you have – if someone can demonstrate that their income and capital are below a certain level, they qualify.
Do you need to apply?
No. If you are eligible for the grant you will not need to apply. It should be paid to you automatically.
When will people get the money?
The Government announced that the payment will be issued directly to households in two lump sums, with £326 paid from Thursday 14 July and £324 in the autumn.
It will be tax-free, will not affect the benefit cap and will not affect existing benefit awards.
The Chancellor 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.”
What support will pensioners get?
While pensioners do not receive the £650 grant, there is support in place to help older people with the cost of energy and living expenses, particularly during the winter months.
If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could receive the Winter Fuel Payment, and get between £250 and £600 to help with bills during winter.
People who receive the state pension get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically.
Most payments are made automatically in November or December. For the upcoming payment, you should be paid by 13 January 2023 at the latest.
Pensioners are also set to receive an additional £300 cost of living support payment. DWP says dates for this payment will be announced soon.