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Millions of households to start receiving their first cost of living payment from TODAY - but there could be delays for some

Millions of low-income UK households will start to receive the first half of their £650 cost of living payment from TODAY. But be warned, there is a possibility some payments could be delayed. Here's what you need to know. 

The first payment of £326 will hit the bank accounts of all qualifying households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from today (14 July). Most (barring those on tax credits - see below for more on this) will receive payments by the end of the month, though the Government has warned there could be delays for some. 

In response to a written question asked by MP Neil Coyle, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister David Rutley warned there could be "potential delays". He said on 24 June: "We currently expect the majority of payments to be made by the end of July, there may be potential delays for a small minority of cases due to their unique characteristics."

A DWP spokesperson added: "In a small number of unique cases with more complex circumstances, the payments will take slightly longer to process. But all eligible households will automatically receive the first instalment, and no one needs to worry they will miss out." 

We've asked DWP in what circumstances payments are likely to be delayed, how many people this is expected to impact, and when people these delayed payments can be expected to be made. We'll update this story when we know more.

DWP says eight million low-income households are due to receive the first payment. You don't need to apply for it though. If you're eligible, you'll automatically receive the money straight into your bank account. A second payment of £324 will be made later this year.

If you're struggling with the cost of living crisis, see our cost of living survival guide, which includes useful tips on how to cut costs.

If you're on low-income benefits, such as Universal Credit, you should get your first payment in July

You are eligible for the payment if you are entitled to any of the following benefits:

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Income support
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit

If you submitted a claim by 25 April 2022 and it ends up being successful, you will be eligible for both parts of the payment.

You will be eligible for the second payment if you're entitled to any of the applicable benefits now but weren't before 25 May, so make sure you claim ASAP to get at least £324. Benefits charity Entitled To told us that due to a backlog in pension credit claims, the deadline for qualifying for the payment, if you claim pension credit, is 24 August. We've asked DWP when the second payment will be made and what the qualifying dates will be. 

If you only claim tax credits, your payment will come later in the year

If you only claim child tax credit or working tax credit, you would have needed to have received a tax credit payment on any day between 26 April and 25 May 2022 to be eligible for the cost of living payment.

If eligible, you'll also get a first payment of £326, although this come in the autumn, followed by a second payment in winter. 

If you claim certain disability benefits, you may also be eligible for an extra £150

If you receive any of the following, then you could also be eligible for an extra £150 top-up:

  • Attendance allowance.
  • 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.

Again, if you started to make a claim by 25 May 2022 and the claim ends up being successful, you will be eligible for the £150 payment, which should begin to be sent out from September this year.

The money will be paid directly into your bank account

If you’re eligible you won't need to apply - you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits or tax credits. 

Benefits charity Entitled To said that some people may fall through the cracks, for example, those who have changed bank accounts but that there hasn't been any specific guidance on this yet. We've asked DWP for more on this and will update the story when we hear back.

However, if you think you're eligible but haven't received your first payment by the end of July, contact the relevant department for whichever benefit you're claiming to find out why.

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