Many Brits who are desperately trying to make ends meet are still waiting to receive their Cost of Living crisis payments and there are a number of reasons why people have not had the first payment of £326 yet.
Around 8.3 million people on low incomes are eligible for the £650 aid with the first instalments of £326 beginning on Thursday July 14.
You could get up to three different types of payment direct from the Department for Work and Pensions depending on your circumstances on a particular date or during a particular period.
These are a Cost of Living Payment of £650, if you get a qualifying low-income benefit or tax credits, a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 if you get a qualifying disability benefit and a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of £300 if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023.
The £650 payment is being made to those on the following means-tested benefits: Universal Credit; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA); income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); Income Support; Pension Credit; Child Tax Credit; Working Tax Credit.
But there are a number of reasons why you may not have received it. Here we look at all the reasons the payment may not be in your account.
1. You’re among the staggered payments
DWP minister David Rutley said the cash won’t arrive in every eligible claimant’s account all at once. He explained: “Due to the volume of people entitled to the payment, it is not possible to issue all of the Cost of Living Support Payments at the same time. Issuing payments will be staggered, but not by benefit type, starting on 14/07/2022.”
2. Your benefit claim is a unique case
Mr Rutley added: “We currently expect the majority of payments to be made by the end of July, there may be potential delays for a small minority of cases due to their unique characteristics.”
3. You’re on tax credits
Those on Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, both administered by HMRC rather than DWP, aren’t getting their payments at the same time as those on the other benefits. Payments from HMRC for those who only get tax credits and none of the other qualifying benefits on the above list are to come later, to avoid duplicate payments.
So those only in receipt of tax credits will get their first instalment of £326 “from autumn 2022” and the second part of £324 “from winter 2022.” Exact dates have not yet been announced.
If you get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive just one cost of living payment for Child Tax Credit only.
If you get tax credits from HMRC as well as another qualifying low-income benefit from DWP, such as Universal Credit, you will get a cost of living payment from DWP only and won’t have to wait until autumn.
4. You were outside the entitlement period
The £650 payment relates to a specific period of 2022 and here are the details to bear in mind.
To get the first cost of living payment of £326, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period April 26, 2022 to May 25, 2022.
Alternatively, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in that same period.
For those on tax credits, in order to get the first cost of living payment of £326, you must have received, or later receive, for any day in the period April 26, 2022 to May 25, 2022: a payment of tax credits or an annual award of at least £26 of tax credits. The Government will later announce the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.
5. You had ‘nil award’ of Universal Credit
You will not be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment if your earnings reduced your Universal Credit to £0 for the qualifying assessment period. This is sometimes called a ‘nil award’. If money has also been taken off for other reasons (such as payments of rent to your landlord or for money that you owe), you might still be eligible.
What this means is that if a claimant earned a wage in the month from April 26 to May 25 that was high enough to mean they didn’t qualify for any Universal Credit on top at all, then they’ll miss out on the £326. In effect, they’ll lose out on cost of living payment eligibility for having good earnings from their job that month.
But it does mean that as long as a Universal Credit recipient had some benefit paid for that period, no matter how low the amount, they’ll still get the £326. Benefits campaigners have slammed this hidden catch.
6. You got your benefits late
The DWP says your payment might come later if you are awarded a qualifying benefit at a later date. You will still be paid the cost of living payment automatically and do not need to contact anyone, it said.
This indicates that if you were eligible during the qualifying dates above, but only had your benefit payment after the end of that period, you could still get it.
7. You changed your payment account
The payment is being made into the same account where you usually receive your benefits or tax credits.
If you change this by closing the account, switching it to a different bank, or asking for benefits to be paid into a different account, then it could interfere with the automatic process of paying in the £650.
In this case, the DWP won’t be able to pay the money in until it has updated the details of your preferred payment method. You should make sure to inform officials of any account changes as soon as you can.
8. You don’t actually qualify
Only the specific benefits listed above will get the money. Though it may seem confusing, those on other types of ESA or JSA aren’t in line to get it – unless they also get one of the benefits that is on the list.
The DWP said: “You will not get a payment if you get New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, unless you get Universal Credit.”
DWP minister David Rutley later clarified that thousands of people on those ineligible benefits would still get the £650 because they also get another benefit that does qualify. He added that “if someone in receipt of a contributory or new style benefit makes a successful claim to an eligible benefit made after the initial qualifying date, they may qualify for the second, £324 cost-of-living payment in the autumn.”
Anyone considering a move on to Universal Credit is urged to check with welfare agencies whether they’ll end up better off or not in the long run. DWP figures for migrating people on to Universal Credit indicated that 500,000 people on ESA would be worse off, 100,000 would end up with the same amount in benefits, and 600,000 would have more money.
It’s also worth looking at benefits calculators as they can help determine what state support you should be able to get.