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Second cost of living payment paid to millions – here's who qualifies and what to do if you haven't got yours

More than eight million households on certain benefits and Tax Credits have now received the second third of their £900 cost of living payment. Here's all you need to know on whether you're eligible and what to do if you're missing your payment.

The £900 grant, which you DON'T need to apply for, is being paid in three chunks of different amounts – this is so it's easier for the Government to track whether you've got the right payment at the right time.

The payments are all tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap and will not have any impact on your existing benefits.

If you're struggling, use our 10-minute benefits check to make sure you're not missing out on vital support.

An online portal is now open for those who didn't get their second £300 payment

An online portal is now available to those who think they should have received their second £300 cost of living payment but haven't. This portal is primarily for existing benefit claimants, as newly-eligible claimants should get the second cost of living payment automatically, even after 19 November 2023.

To report this missing payment, you need to visit the Gov.uk website and input your full name, date of birth, address and national insurance number.

Most people, if found to be eligible, should receive their payment within two weeks of completing the form, although the Government has warned this could take longer depending on the number of people who get in touch.

The portal will remain open for three weeks between 20 November 2023 and 11 December 2023, after which you'll be able to report a missing cost of living payment by logging a note in your online benefits journal or by calling the helpline for your relevant benefit.

When you should have received the second £300 cost of living payment

Here's when you should have received your automatic second £300 cost of living payment by:

Benefit(s) you get When you should have received your second £300 payment
Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit ONLY (without other benefits on top) Between 10 November 2023 and 19 November 2023

Any of the below (with or without Tax Credits on top):

Income-based jobseeker's allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance

- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit

Between 31 October 2023 and 19 November 2023

The third instalment of the payment is expected to be paid in spring 2024.

Key qualifying dates for getting the second payment

To get the £300, you need to have been paid (or have been eligible for a payment of) one of the benefits listed above (also detailed below) on any day between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023.

This means that you may qualify for this payment even if you didn't receive last year's £650 cost of living payment or this year's first £301 cost of living payment.

However, we've heard some people on Universal Credit are at risk of missing out because of how the eligibility period falls in relation to their assessment period and pay frequency.

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-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit – unless your Universal Credit was reduced to £0 for the entire period between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023. Sometimes called a 'nil award', this can happen where you or your partner's earnings or savings go up, you start getting another benefit or you get paid more than one set of wages within that period.
  • 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 see if you qualify for support.

Payments will be automatic and you DON'T need to apply – beware scammers saying otherwise

If you qualify for these cost of living payments, you should be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits or Tax Credits (if you don't get one as expected, you can report it via Gov.uk as outlined above and have it paid manually).

If you get benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the reference for the payment will be 'DWP COL', along with your national insurance number. For Tax Credits-only recipients, the payment reference will be 'HMRC COLS'.

Watch out for scam texts or emails inviting you to claim or apply for the payment. The DWP has said it'll never ask you for personal details or banking info over text or email. For more info on avoiding fraud – and what to do if you've been scammed – see our 30+ ways to stop scams guide.

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.

A third and final cost of living payment will follow, plus additional support for pensioners

Three different cost of living payments – one for people on a low income, one for pensioners, and one for people claiming disability benefits – were announced for 2023/24, with some households being eligible for £1,350 in total. Here's the full list:

  1. If you're on low-income benefits, you'll get up to £900 – paid from April 2023.
    If you're one of the eight million households that get the means-tested benefits listed above, you should have started receiving up to £900 in cost of living payments paid out in three instalments:

    - £301 – paid by 17 May 2023. If you were eligible but didn't receive this, you can report the missing payment by calling the phone number for the benefit you claim. You can find the numbers on Gov.uk.
    - £300 – paid by 19 November 2023. If you were eligible but haven't received this, you can report the missing payment via the online portal on Gov.uk.
    - £299 – during spring 2024 (payment and eligibility dates yet to be confirmed).

  2. If you're above state pension age, you'll get £300 – paid in winter 2023/24.
    If you're entitled to winter fuel payment, and are above state pension age (aged 66 and over), you'll get a top-up of £300 in winter 2023/24.

    If you're eligible, you'll be sent a letter by December 2023 (if you haven't already) telling you how much your total winter fuel payment will be. If you don't get a letter but think you qualify, check if you need to make a claim on Gov.uk.

  3. If you claim certain disability benefits, you should have received £150 – paid from 20 June 2023.
    If you're one of six million people who get certain disability benefits, you should have had a one-off £150 payment paid between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023. This was on top of the up to £900 means-tested cost of living payment, and/or the £300 pensioner payment.

    To get the £150, you needed to have been paid any of the following benefits on or for 1 April 2023:

    - Adult disability payment (in Scotland)
    - Armed forces independence payment
    - Attendance allowance
    - Child disability payment (in Scotland)
    - Constant attendance allowance
    - Disability living allowance
    - Personal independence payment
    - War pension mobility supplement

    If you didn't receive this, you can call to report a missing payment – to find the relevant contact info, read our story on the disability cost of living payment.

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