This includes the dates to expect cost of living payments, how to find out if you might be eligible for benefits and extra support you might be able to get over the winter period.
When will my benefits paid by the DWP in February 2024?
Benefit payment dates depend on the specific benefit and when you started claiming.
Universal credit is paid monthly by the DWP.
Attendance allowance, disability living allowance, pension credit, personal independence payment and state pension are paid every four weeks.
Carer’s allowance, tax credits (from HMRC) and child benefit are either weekly or every four weeks. Maternity allowance is either every two weeks or every four weeks.
Income support, employment and support allowance and jobseeker’s allowance are typically every two weeks.
When will cost of living payments be paid in February 2024?
The next cost of living payment will be paid between February 6, 2024 and February 22, 2024.
This will be £299 and is the final cost of living payment currently planned by the DWP.
People receiving certain benefits or tax credits are eligible for the cost of living payment. This includes: universal credit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), income support, pension credit, child tax credit and working tax credit.
You also have to have been receiving one of these benefits between November 13 and December 12, or payment for an assessment period, ending between these dates.
Find out more about the cost of living payment here.
Read about the human impact of the cost of living crisis in our weekly newsletter:
How do I know if I am eligible for benefits in February 2024?
You could be entitled to benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran. You can use the charity Turn2Us’ benefits calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim.
Citizens Advice offers information and services to help people and they can advise you as to what financial support is available from the government to help you.
The government’s Help for Households website explains what support you could be eligible for – such as cost of living payments and we’ve got a round-up of all the cost of living help available to households here.
Are benefits and state pension set to increase in 2024?
Benefits and state pension are set to increase in April 2024.
The chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement that benefits are going to be increased by the September rate of inflation of 6.7%.
He also announced that state pension will be increased by 8.5% in April, according to the rules of the triple lock and wage growth.
When will the cold weather payment be paid by the DWP?
The cold weather payment is given out to low-income households when temperatures drop below freezing for seven consecutive days.
It is a £25 top up for each seven-day period of cold weather intended to help people cover the extra costs they have to pay for heating. It’s paid to people in receipt of certain benefits.
Find out more about the cold weather payment here.
When will people in Scotland receive the winter heating payment?
If they are eligible, people in Scotland should receive a winter heating payment instead of the cold weather payment by the end of January 2024 .
It is a £55.05 payment from Social Security Scotland (rather than the DWP) which is given to people on low-income benefits who might have extra heating needs.
You have to be getting a qualifying benefit to get the payment. These are universal credit, pension credit, income support, income-based JSA, income-related ESA or support for mortgage interest.
You have to get the benefit within a qualifying week. This is the first full week of November, which this year was the week beginning 6 November.
And there are specific criteria within the benefits too. Find out more about the winter heating payment and whether you could be eligible here.
When will the warm home discount be paid?
The warm home discount is applied to your electricity bill between October 2023 and 31 March, 2024.
It is £150 granted to low-income households with high energy costs. The money comes off your bill rather than being paid to individuals. You can find out more here.
Will I get a winter fuel payment from the DWP? And what do I do if it’s missing?
People should have received the DWP winter fuel payment, an additional benefit to help pensioners with the cost of heating over the winter, in November or December.
You can get the winter fuel payment if you were born before 25 September, 1957 and you live in the UK.
If you have not got a letter or the money has not been paid into your account by 26 January, 2024, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
Where else can I get cost of living help?
Benefits aren’t stretching far enough in the cost of living crisis – but there are other options out there for people who need it.
People who are struggling financially may be eligible for charitable grants. You can find out what grants might be available to you using Turn2Us’ grant search on the charity’s website. There are a huge range of grants available for different people – including those who are bereaved, disabled, unemployed, redundant, ill, a carer, veteran, young person or old person. Grants are also usually available to people who have no recourse to public funds and cannot claim welfare benefits.
If you are unable to pay your bills, your local council may have a scheme that can help you. Local councils may be able to give you debt advice, help you get hold of furniture and support you through food and fuel poverty. Your council may also have a local welfare assistance scheme, also known as crisis support. You can also find out what support your council offers through End Furniture Poverty’s local welfare assistance finder or by contacting your local authority directly.
You can find your local food bank through the Trussell Trust’s website or the IFAN’s member’s map. You can also call the Trussell Trust’s free helplines and talk to a trained adviser. It’s 0808 208 2138 if you live in England or Wales, and 0800 915 4604 if you live in Northern Ireland. You should contact your local council if you live in Scotland.
There’s lots more cost of living help available to people who need it – we round it up here.
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