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Cost of Living Payments: Social Security Benefits

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 11891, tabled on 1 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make the £650 one-off cost of living payment for people on means tested benefits also available to those claiming (a) contribution based Employment Support Allowance and (b) other non-means tested benefits.

Answered on

13 June 2022

The Government is committed to managing the public finances in a responsible way by targeting the £650 Cost of Living Payment support at low income means tested households where it is most needed.

The guidance with the full list of support can be found at:

Overall government support for the cost of living: factsheet - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Cost of Living Payments have been designed to target support for households with low incomes, on means-tested benefits. These payments are in addition to the £400 of support for energy bills that the Government is providing through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme, doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year and making the whole £400 a non-repayable grant. In addition, individuals may be able to benefit from the disability and pensioner Cost of Living Payments if they are in receipt of disability benefits or eligible for Winter Fuel Payments.

From October 2022, Government is also providing an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, £421m will be used to further extend the Household Support Fund (October 2022 – March 2023). Guidance and individual local authority indicative allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

In addition to the new support, people on low incomes but not means-tested benefits may also benefit from previously announced measures to help people tackle the cost of living, including frozen alcohol duty and fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.