26 May 2022
If you’re wondering how your household finances will be affected by rising energy prices and more, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just announced a new range of grants and payments to help every household with their bills.
If you live in England, Scotland and Wales, you’ll get £400 off your energy bill in October this year.
Previously, this was announced as a £200 ‘loan’. But as this is a grant, you won’t need to pay it back. You don’t have to apply or fill out any complicated forms to get this money - if you pay your bills by Direct Debit or credit, the money will automatically be put in your bank account.
If you have a pre-payment meter, the money will be either added to your meter or you’ll get a voucher to use for top-ups.
If you live in Northern Ireland, you’ll be allocated equivalent support, although details haven’t been announced yet.
On top of the £400 every household will get, if you’re on certain means-tested benefits you’ll also get a £650 cost of living payment. This will be paid in two instalments alongside your existing benefits.
The first instalment is due to be paid this year in July and the second in the autumn.
Don’t worry, this won’t mess up your benefit entitlements. This payment will be tax free and won’t count towards the benefit cap.
You’re likely to qualify if you’re getting any of these benefits:
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
If you’re not getting these benefits and are living on a low income, it’s important to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to. Lots of people are surprised to learn they are, when they assumed they weren’t because they work. It’s worth checking!
If you’re at State Pension age or older and receives the winter fuel payment, you’ll get an extra £300 on top of your annual payment this year.
This will be paid to you automatically into your bank account in November or December 2022. You don’t need to do anything to claim it.
This payment won’t affect any benefits you’re already getting and will be paid alongside other support you might qualify for, such as the £650 cost of living payment if you’re getting Pension Credit, disability benefits or Attendance Allowance.
There are around 800,000 people who are entitled to Pension Credit but aren’t claiming it.
As well as all of the above payments, you’ll also get £150 paid to you in September 2022 if you’re getting any of these disability benefits:
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
Scottish Disability Benefits
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement.
The payment will be tax free, so won’t count towards the benefit cap and won’t affect any other benefits you’re getting now.
It will be paid on top of the £650 cost of living payment you may also qualify for if you’re getting certain means-tested benefits, such as income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
The current price cap is £1,971, but Ofgem has said that this is likely to rise to around £2,800 in October this year. So as much as these energy bill grants will be a big help to lots of people, many others will still find it hard to make ends meet.
If that’s the case for you, you’re not alone and there is help out there. Find out more in our guide Managing your money in uncertain times, which can point you in the right direction.
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