MSE News

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.

You don't need to apply for this grant. If you qualify you'll automatically receive the money straight into your bank account. An initial £326 cost of living payment was made earlier this year.

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

When you'll be paid the £324 cost of living payment

The £324 payment will start hitting the bank accounts of qualifying households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from today (8 November), with 1.6 million payments being sent today alone.

Payments will continue to be made throughout the week until Friday 11 November. Payments will then be paused over the weekend. A further batch of 900,000 payments will be made between Monday 14 November and Tuesday 15 November, after which 99% of those eligible will have been paid.

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.

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.

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