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Millions of people on tax credits to get their first cost of living payment from 2 September - here's what's happening

Around 1.1 million people who claim tax credits will get their first £326 cost of living payment from today (2 September). Below we breakdown who's eligible and how you'll be paid, plus what to do if you don't receive your payment but think you should. 

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

Alternatively, if you think you might be eligible for tax credits, see our Tax credits guide for more info.

Those who claim just tax credits will receive the payment from 2 September

If you only claim tax credits, you would have needed to have received a tax credit payment, or an annual award of at least £26, for any day between 26 April and 25 May 2022 to be eligible.

Eligible claimants will receive the first £326 cost of living payment between today (Friday 2 September) and Wednesday 7 September - though HMRC warned you might find your payment is delayed if you have recently closed the bank account your tax credits are usually paid into. A second £324 cost-of-living payment will be made at some time during the winter. 

There are two types of tax credits people can claim - you must be claiming one or both of these to get the payment:

  • Child tax credit. For people with children, whether working or not. Eligibility depends on how many children you have and the number of hours you work.
  • Working tax credit. For people who work, but are on a low income (doesn't matter if you've got kids or not).

If you're in receipt of other benefits on top, you should have had your first payment already

You are also eligible for the cost of living 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 started to make a claim by 25 May 2022 and the claim ended up being successful, you will be eligible for both parts of the payment. Most benefits claimants, including those who get tax credits on top, should have received their first payment in July.

The second payment of £324 will come in the autumn. However, you will also be eligible for this 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.

You can use our 10-minute benefits checker calculator to see what you could qualify for. Benefits are not only available to those out of work – even some families with an income of £50,000 or more can get help. 

Payments should be made automatically - you don't need to do anything

If you're eligible for the £326 payment, you shouldn't need to apply. You'll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits or tax credits.

For joint tax credit claimants, where one claimant receives working tax credit and the other claimant receives child tax credit, payments will be made into the same bank account as the child tax credit.

If your bank details have changed, and you haven't told HMRC, the money will be paid into your old bank account, meaning the payment will be rejected. If this happens, HMRC will send a letter to you asking for your new details - so make sure your bank details and your address are up to date. 

If you don't receive your payment but are expecting it, contact HMRC or DWP

Tax credit claimants who don't receive their payment but think they should have, can contact HMRC - but wait until 16 September before doing so. You can also contact HMRC if you have been rejected for tax credits and want to appeal that decision. 

You can query both issues by contacting HMRC online through your personal account, by phone on 0345 300 3900 or by writing to HM Revenue and Customs, Tax Credit Office, BX9 1ER, United Kingdom. Alternatively, you can also appeal a tax credit decision by filling in this form

If you're on benefits and want to query a missing cost of living payment, you need to let DWP know using this form. You'll need to provide your National Insurance number, so make sure you've got this to hand.

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:

  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal 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 20 September this year.

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