TODAY'S Autumn Statement confirmed that millions on benefits and Universal Credit will get a new one-off £900 payment.
Hard-up Brits welcomed confirmation on support options to help ease the stress of rising energy bills.
The Chancellor announced another round of cost of living packages in today's Autumn Statement.
Pensioners will get £300 and there will be another £150 disability payment.
A means-tested payment of £900 will specifically go to Brits who claim benefits.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to protect the poorest as he prepares to strip back energy bill support and let heating costs rise.
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Mr Hunt said: "For the most vulnerable we will introduce additional cost of living payments next year, of £900 to households on means-tested benefits; £300 to pensioner households; and £150 for individuals on disability benefit.
"We will also provide an additional £1bn of funding to enable a further twelve month extension to the Household Support Fund, helping Local Authorities to assist those who might otherwise fall through the cracks."
During the budget, the Chancellor also raised the National Living Wage to £10.42 as well as hiking pensions and benefits by inflation.
But he offset the handouts with sweeping spending cuts and tax rises to repair a £60billion black hole in the nation’s finances, including a hike in vehicle excise duty.
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Mr Hunt reduced the Energy Price Guarantee so the average family pays around £3,000 for bills – above the current £2,500 but less than Ofgem’s £4,000.
Who will get the cost of living payments?
Eight million households currently get cost of living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
At the moment, you're eligible if you claim the following:
- Universal Credit
- Job Seeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Pensioners are also getting a helping hand with an extra £300 one-off payment from this month too.
You'll receive this if:
- you were born on or before 25 September 1956
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"
While people with disabilities getting a £150 one-off payment will need to receive one of the following:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
The new help is an increase on the £650 for people on benefits but the other two cost-of-living support payments remain the same.
It is not yet clear whether there will be a change in the eligibility criteria, which will be confirmed when we know more.
What help is on offer now?
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who's eligible here.
There's a few hardship funds you might be entitled to through you energy supplier.
Contact them and ask to see what is available, though the application process is very in-depth.
You could earn up to £1,500 from the British Gas fund, for instance.
There's also the cold weather payment, which starts from November 1 onwards and continues through the winter months.
Temperatures drop dramatically from November to February, so it should help people heat their homes more comfortably.
You get £25 for each seven-day period where the weather is below zero Celsius on average during this time frame.
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You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by popping your postcode into the government's tool now.
You can check if you're eligible here first.
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