THOUSANDS of hard-up households will have to wait MONTHS for the £650 cost of living benefit payment if they claim tax credits.
The Chancellor announced a bumper £15billion relief package to help the nation pay for spiralling energy bills.
Among the raft of measures revealed was a £650 one-off payment for low income households which will be paid in two chunks.
The Department for Work and Pensions will make the first £325 payment from July, and the second £325 in the autumn.
The help is being dished out in time for when energy bills are expected to rocket further over the winter months.
The boss of Ofgem predicted that bills could hit £2,800 in October – adding an extra £830 onto households' annual energy costs.
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While the boss of one of Britain's biggest energy companies warned the cost-of-living crisis could endure for more than a year and a half.
But thousands could see their £650 cost of living payment delayed at a time when budgets are being clobbered – we explain why.
Why could my £650 payment be delayed?
The Department for Work and Pensions will split the £650 payment into two lump sums.
You'll get £325 from July, and the second £325 in the autumn.
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But you could be waiting longer for your payment if you get tax credits.
Those on tax credits will be paid their first payment from autumn, and their second payment from winter.
As autumn starts in September, it means that you could be waiting two months for your payment if you get tax credits.
The delay to payments is in place in order to avoid "duplicate payments" – we explain below.
Tax credits is a "legacy benefit" – there are six of these types of benefit that will be replaced by Universal Credit by the end of 2024.
These benefits are:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
People may be receiving tax credits alongside other legacy benefits – so may already be getting a cost of living payment because they are in receipt of this benefit.
So the £650 payment to those on tax credits only will be dished out at a later date to avoid any double payments being made.
How do I get the payment?
You don't need to do anything to get the £650 cost of living payment.
It will be given out automatically.
To get the first payment, you will need to be on eligible benefits or have begun a successful claim which is later, as of May 25 2022.
HMRC and the DWP will set out the eligibility date for the second payment in due course.
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Mr Sunak also announced an extra £500million for the Household Support Fund.
He also said there would be a temporary windfall tax on oil and gas giants.
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