Help with the Cost of Living

Cost of living support payments

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The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021. To help mitigate the impacts, the UK and Scottish Governments have provided further support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. The following paragraphs provide further details of the payments already made and future payments.

Energy Price Guarantee

From 1st October 2022, a new ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ will mean a typical UK household will pay no more than £2,500 a year on their energy bill until April 2023. This is automatic and applies to all households. This will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October and is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households. This applies to all households in Great Britain.

The UK Government has announced that they will review the energy support available for the most vulnerable households from April 2023.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Households will receive £400 of support as credits to their energy bills. Energy suppliers will deliver this support automatically to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October. Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

One-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits

More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a £650 payment, made in two instalments. This includes all households receiving Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Credit and be entitled to a payment on specific dates. Two lump sum payments will be made, which are tax-free and do not impact on existing benefit awards. When you will be paid:

Benefit or tax credits

Cost of Living Payment

When you’ll be paid

Universal Credit

£326

Between 14 and 31 July 2022 for most people

 

£324

Autumn 2022

Income-based JSA

£326

Between 14 and 31 July 2022 for most people

 

£324

Autumn 2022

Income-related ESA

£326

Between 14 and 31 July 2022 for most people

 

£324

Autumn 2022

Income Support

£326

Between 14 and 31 July 2022 for most people

 

£324

Autumn 2022

Pension Credit

£326

Between 14 and 31 July 2022 for most people

 

£324

Autumn 2022

Tax Credits

£326

Between 2 and 7 September 2022 for most people

 

£324

From winter 2022

Full details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment#low-income-benefits-and-tax-credits

One-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

Pensioner households will receive an extra £150 - £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. This additional one-off payment will be made to households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment and will be paid on top of any other one-off support a pensioner household is entitled to. These amounts are for winter 2022 to 2023 only:

Household circumstances

Born between 26 September 1942 and 25 September 1956

Born on or before 25 September 1942

You qualify and live alone (or none of the people you live with qualify)

£500

£600

You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies

£250

£350

You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies

£250

£300

You qualify and live with a partner who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits

£500 - only one of you will get the payment

£600 - only one of you will get the payment

You qualify and live with someone (not your partner) who qualifies, and either of you gets certain benefits

£500 - you’ll both get the payment

£600 - you’ll both get the payment

You qualify, live in a care home and do not get certain benefits

£250

£300

 

Disability Cost of Living Payment

A one-off payment of £150 will be made to people who receive one of the following: Constant Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance for adults, Disability Living Allowance for children, Personal Independence Payment, Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland). Child Disability Payment (in Scotland), Armed Forces Independence Payment, War Pension Mobility Supplement. This one-off payment will made in addition to any other support payment the household is entitled to receive.

You must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of one of these qualifying benefits for 25 May 2022 to get the payment. You’ll be paid the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment automatically from 20 September 2022. Most people will receive their payment by the beginning of October 2022.

£150 Cost of Living Award (council tax rebate)

The Cost of Living Award was £150 to help pay your bills. Most households got this award as credit to their council tax accounts in April 2022.

Local Authority Covid Economic Recovery (LACER) Fund

The Council was allocated £3.639m from the Scottish Government’s Local Authority Covid Economic Recovery (LACER) fund. This funding was flexible and designed to enable local authorities to utilise funding where it is considered necessary or justified based on local circumstances to support local economic recovery and cost of living impacts on low-income households.

At the Highland Council meeting in June 2022, Elected Members agreed to use some of this funding to provide a non-recurring package of welfare support for households most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This included the following payments which were made automatically:

  • *£145 cost of living support payment for households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and specified exemptions – Sever Mental Impairment, Live-in carers who look after someone who isn’t their partner, spouse or child, Children under 18, Care leaver - on 31 May 2022
  • £125 payment to those Households in receipt of Free School Meals due to low-income

*If you think you are entitled to this payment and have not yet received, please contact the Service Delivery Team by