Second cost of living payment to be paid from today – here's who qualifies, how much you'll get and if you need to apply
About eight million of the UK's poorest households will start to receive the second half of their £650 cost of living payment from today (Tuesday 8 November). Here's all you need to know on whether you're eligible and when you'll get your payment.
Update: 16 November 2022: The Government says some seven million families – over 99% of those eligible – have now been paid their £324.
It added that, in a small number of cases, an automated payment has not been possible, for example where universal credit payments are split between a couple or where the system didn't recognise a household's details.
Those payments will instead be made manually – so don't worry if you haven't got yours yet, as it could take a bit longer. A dedicated page on Gov.uk for reporting missing payments will launch next week.
When you'll be paid the £324 cost of living payment
Everyone should have been paid by Wednesday 23 November, according to the Department for Work and Pensions – with the exception of those who only claim tax credits, where different payment dates apply. We've got more info on when you'll be paid below.
Key qualifying dates for getting the new payment
To get the £324, you need to have been paid (or been eligible for) one of the benefits listed below for any day between 26 August 2022 and 25 September 2022.
This means you may qualify for this new payment even if you didn't get the initial one of £326.
If you're on low-income benefits, such as universal credit, you're entitled to the cost of living payment
You are eligible for the cost of living payment if you are entitled to any of the following:
- Child tax credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker's allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Pension credit
- Universal credit
- Working tax credit
If you're not currently getting any benefits and you're on a low income, it's worth using our 10-minute benefits checker to ensure you're not missing out on vital support.
Were you of state pension age between 26 August and 25 September? Check if you can get pension credit. If you're eligible, you can still get the second cost of living payment if you make a claim for pension credit before Monday 19 December and request for it to be backdated. Pension credit can also unlock many other benefits – see our Pension credit guide for full info.
Payments for those who only get tax credits will come afterwards
If you only claim child tax credit or working tax credit, the qualifying dates are the same – you would have needed to have received a tax credit payment between 26 August 2022 and 25 September 2022 to get the second cost of living payment.
However, your payment will come after the others – you can expect it between Wednesday 23 November and Wednesday 30 November.
Again, you may qualify for this new payment even if you didn't get the initial £326, which was paid between 2 and 7 September to those who received a tax credit payment, or an annual award of at least £26, between 26 April 2022 and 25 May 2022.
If you claim certain disability benefits, you may qualify for an extra £150
If you receive any of the following, 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 or children)
- Personal independence payment
- War pension mobility supplement
There were some initial delays with these £150 payments, but most have now been sent out – see our Disability payment delays MSE News story for more info and help on what to do if you think you should have received this top-up but didn't get it.
Payments will be automatic and you DON'T need to apply – beware scammers saying otherwise
If you qualify for the cost of living payments, you don't need to apply. You'll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits or tax credits.
If you're a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits claimant, the reference for the payment will be your national insurance number, followed by 'DWP COL'. For tax credits-only recipients, the payment reference will be 'HMRC COLS'.
Watch out for texts or emails inviting you to claim or apply for the payment – they're scams. The DWP has said it'll never ask you for personal details or banking info over text or email.
Also be warned that if you get a cost of living payment and the DWP later finds you weren't eligible, you may have to pay it back.
What to do if you were expecting the first payment in July but didn't get it
The qualifying dates for the first payment were 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022. Most of those eligible should have received their initial payment of £326 in July.
If you haven't, and you believe you qualify, you'll need to contact the government department responsible for your benefits:
- Child tax credit and working tax credits: Call HM Revenue & Customs on 0345 300 3900.
- Income support, jobseeker's allowance or employment and support allowance: Call the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 169 0310.
- Pension credit: Call the Pension Service on 0800 731 0469.
- Universal credit: Contact Jobcentre Plus by signing in to your online account.
You'll need your national insurance number when you call, so have this to hand.