Over a million people on tax credits will get their second cost of living payment from TODAY - here's what's happening
Over a million people who claim tax credits will get their second cost of living payment from today (23 November). 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 have.
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.
Claim only tax credits? You'll get your second cost of living payment from 23 November
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 August 2022 and 25 September 2022 to be eligible for the second £324 cost of living payment.
Eligible claimants will receive this between 23 November and 30 November - though HMRC warns you might find your payment is delayed if you have recently closed the bank account your tax credits are usually paid into.
The first £326 cost of living payment was paid between 2 September and 7 September for those who only claimed tax credits. Here, 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.
There are two types of tax credits people can claim - you must be claiming one or both of these, and no other benefits, 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, most should have received their second payment between 8 November and 23 November
The Government says some seven million families in receipt of benefits other than just tax credits – over 99% of those eligible – have now been paid their second £324 cost of living payment.
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. You can report a missing payment on the Gov.uk website.
You're eligible for this 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 26 August 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.
If you didn't get the first payment because you didn't qualify, but then ended up qualifying within the above timeframe, you should still be eligible to receive the second payment.
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.
If you claim certain disability benefits, you may be eligible for an extra £150
If you receive any of the following, then you could also be eligible for an extra £150 on top:
- 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
These should have been paid by early October, though there have been some delays – 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.
Payments will be automatic and you DON'T need to apply – beware scams saying otherwise
If you're eligible 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.
Watch out for texts or emails inviting you to claim or apply for the payment – they're scams. The Department for Work and Pensions (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.
If you don't receive your payment but are expecting it, or didn't receive your first payment, contact HMRC or DWP
Tax credit claimants who don't receive their second payment, or didn't receive their first payment, but think they should have done so, can contact HMRC - but wait until 7 December before doing so if it's in relation to the second payment. 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 on Gov.uk.
If you're on benefits and want to query a missing cost of living payment, you need to let DWP know using this form on Gov.uk. You'll need to provide your National Insurance number, so make sure you've got this to hand.
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