Cost of living help announced

The UK Government has launched a new £15 billion package targeted at those most in need. As living costs continue to increase, agents and landlords will want to ensure that their tenants receive all the help to which they are entitled.

Funded by a temporary tax on the profits of energy companies, the package is made up of several different components, and individual tenants may be entitled to some or all of these. 

While all these payments should be made automatically to those who qualify, tenants should be encouraged to check that they have received all the payments due to them and may need assistance in following up where they have been overlooked.

One-off £400 payment

Replacing the £200 payment which was announced earlier this year, every household will now receive a £400 credit directly from their energy supplier over six months starting in October 2022. This will not be reclaimed from future bills as was the intention with the original £200 payment announced. 

In England, Scotland and Wales, 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. The same level of help will be provided in Northern Ireland, but the mechanism by which it will be delivered is yet to be confirmed. This payment is in addition to the £150 Council Tax rebate previously announced and which is currently being paid.

£650 payment for recipient of means-tested benefits

This payment will be made in two instalments in July and Autumn to recipients of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and other income-related benefits. To qualify, people will need to be receiving the benefit or have made a successful claim by 25 May 2022. The payments will not impact entitlement to any other benefits.

£300 payment for pensioner households

Pensioner households will receive an additional £300 with their annual winter fuel payment in November or December 2022, paid directly to their bank account. To qualify, people must be aged 66 or over between 19 – 25 September 2022. 

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

Anyone receiving a disability benefit, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will receive a direct payment of £150 in September 2022. To qualify, people will need to be receiving the benefit or have made a successful claim by 25 May 2022.

Household Support Fund

In addition, the UK Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund, which helps those in the most need with food, energy and water bills. Help from the fund is delivered by local councils.

It is only right that the UK Government provides support to those who need it most, but the package of measures is only going to relieve renters and homeowners in the short term. With Universal Credit still ineffective and inadequate for many people and Local Housing Allowance frozen in cash terms; these are issues that the Chancellor needs to address in the long term to fully tackle the cost of living crisis.
Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark

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