Around 8 million households to receive £299 cost of living payment in February

The payment will be made to people on eligible means-tested benefits between 6 and 22 February and is part of a wider support package for households.

It is one of three means-tested cost of living payments being made over 2023/24, worth up to £900 in total.

The £299 payment in February 2024 will be sent automatically, so eligible people do not need to apply or take any action to receive it.

People are also being warned to watch out for any scam messages about cost of living payments purporting to be from government bodies.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is encouraging low-income pensioners who are not already receiving Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as they could still qualify for the cost of living payment in February.

The latest DWP figures found 880,000 households were eligible for the top-up benefit but did not claim it, despite it also potentially unlocking extra support.

While people who claim Pension Credit now will not qualify for the two cost of living payments, worth a total of £601, which have already been paid this year, they could be able to get the final payment.

It’s possible to check Pension Credit eligibility online, using the Government calculator.

Pension Credit applications can be started up to four months before reaching state pension age.

People can apply any time after reaching state pension age, but it’s only possible to backdate it by three months, provided they were eligible during that time.

There are a variety of ways to apply for Pension Credit – online, by phone or by post.

The Government website explains a friend or family member can call on one’s behalf, and it’s also possible to contact voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice or Age UK to request help with the form.

The eligibility rules state that to get the £299 cost of living payment via Pension Credit, the person must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to have been entitled to a payment) of Pension Credit for any day in the period November 13 to December 12.

People don’t need to apply for the cost of living payments.

If they’re eligible, the DWP will pay the money automatically in the same way they usually get the benefit, even if they are found to be eligible at a later date.

These cost of living payments are not taxable and they won’t affect the benefits or tax credits a person gets.


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