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People claiming Carer’s Allowance to miss out on direct financial support from new cost of living payments


Last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £15 billion package of further financial support for millions of households across the UK finding it increasingly more difficult to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living.

The new package is in addition to the £22 billion previously announced by the UK Government in February and now means that millions of the most vulnerable households across the country will get £1,200 of support this year along with a £400 non-repayable discount on their electricity bill – paid directly to suppliers and discounted from bills over six months.

The Chancellor also announced a raft of one-off Cost of Living Payments – £150 for people on disability benefits, £300 for pensioners in eligible households and £650 for households on means-tested benefits.

However, some 6.5 million unpaid carers across the UK will not directly benefit from any of the support measures, something Labour MP Conor McGinn, has queried with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Mr McGinn asked what recent discussions have taken place between the department and the Treasury on measures to help unpaid carers meet the rising cost of living.

However, in a written response on June 9, Gillian Keegan, Minister for the Department of Health and Social Care said that there have been “no specific discussions” on providing additional support for unpaid carers.



Senior woman spending quality time with her daughter
There are 6.5m unpaid carers across the UK

The minister said: “While we have had no specific discussions, Ministers and officials have regular discussions on a range of issues.”

Ms Keegan highlighted the current range of benefits some unpaid carers may be eligible to claim, which include Carer’s Allowance and the Carer Element in Universal Credit.

On the matter of specific cost of living support, she said: “Those living in the same household as the disabled person they care for will benefit from the disability Cost of Living Payment, while families with a pensioner in the household will benefit from the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.”

Below are key dates and qualifying criteria for the three different one-off payments and £400 energy discount for domestic users – nobody needs to apply for any of the new support, they will all be paid automatically.

July and autumn

£650 one-off payment for people on means-tested benefits

The ‘Cost of Living Payment’ of £650 will be made in two instalments for households on means-tested benefits.

People on these benefits will receive the payments:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July and the second in the autumn.

Payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to avoid duplicate payments.

How to qualify for the payment:

  • To be eligible for the first of the two instalments claimants will need to be in receipt of one of the benefits listed above, or have started a claim which is later successful, as of Wednesday May 25, 2022

HMRC and DWP are due to release further guidance and the UK Government will set out the eligibility date for the second instalment, in due course.

Other key points about the payment:

  • This payment will be tax-free
  • It will not count towards the benefit cap
  • It will not have any impact on existing benefit awards

How will payments be made:

  • Directly to households across the UK

September

£150 one-off payment for people on disability benefits

The £150 ‘Disability Cost of Living Payment’ will be paid to people on disability benefits in September.

People on these benefits will receive the payment:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Adult Disability Payment (Scotland only)
  • Child Disability Payment (Scotland only)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

How to qualify for the payment:

  • To be eligible for the £150 one-off payment, claimants must be in receipt of the benefits listed above, or have started an eventually successful claim for one of these benefits as of May 25, 2022

Other key points about the payment:

  • Disability benefit claimants who also receive means-tested benefits, will get the £150 on top of the £650, but they will be paid separately
  • Payments will be exempt from tax
  • They will not count towards the benefit cap
  • Payments will not have any impact on existing benefit awards

How will payments be made:

  • Payments will go directly to eligible people across the UK

Latest Cost Of Living News

October

£400 discount off energy bills

The UK Government will pay the £400 directly to energy suppliers who will deliver this support to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October.

Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher – this will depend on whether they have a smart meter or not.

Who qualifies for the £400 energy bill grant:

  • Domestic energy users in Scotland, England and Wales – equivalent support will be delivered to people in Northern Ireland

Other key points about the payment:

  • The £400 does not need to be repaid
  • This support is on top of the £150 Council Tax rebate for households in bands A-D (and with a reduction in Scotland), which was announced in February, and which millions of households have already received

How will payment be made:

  • Directly to energy suppliers – you do not need to apply for it

November/December

£300 one-off payment for people of State Pension age

All eligible pensioner households will get the one-off ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ as a top-up to their annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/December.

Who qualifies for the £300 ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’:

  • People will be eligible for this payment if they are over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19-25 September 2022 and in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment

Other key points about the payment:

  • The £300 will be paid on top of any other one-off support a pensioner household is entitled to, for example where they are on Pension Credit or receive disability benefits
  • The payment is not taxable
  • The payment does not affect eligibility for other benefits

Who does not qualify?

  • There are certain circumstances where an individual above State Pension age does not qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment which can be found on GOV.UK, here

How will payments be made:

  • Directly to households across the UK

You can read detailed examples of how the additional support packages will affect different types of households on he GOV.UK website here.



Join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for energy and money-saving tips, the latest benefits news, consumer help and advice on coping with the cost of living crisis.

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Where to get help and advice

If you are unsure if you qualify for a one-off payment, or have a mixed household, seek professional advice from a non-profit organisation such as Citizens Advice, Advice Direct Scotland, Christians Against Poverty, Turn2Us and StepChange.

To keep up to date with the cost of living crisis, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter here, or subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.





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