The rising cost of living is impacting many individuals and increasing stress levels considerably. The cost of goods and services has been on the rise, and the uk has seen high inflation rates, resulting in a higher overall cost of living. Experts have predicted that this pattern will continue and therefore, people will have to adjust their budget accordingly. While there are numerous factors affecting the cost of living uk, inflation and changing economic conditions have played a big part.
If people do not have enough money to make ends meet, they may be able to get help from the government to afford essentials like utility bills and food. Help available can include universal credit pay, disability living allowance and cost of living payments.
Eligibility for a cost of living payment 2023
Individuals may be eligible for a cost of living payment or other benefits if they meet certain criteria. This includes:
- Being of employment age and on a low income
- Being unwell or disabled
- Being of state pension age and on a low income
- Being a carer
- Being responsible for children
Many people do not know what benefits they are entitled to and therefore do not claim help with living costs. It is important that people regularly check what they are eligible for and keep up to date with their changing circumstances.
Who is eligible for a cost of living payment 2023
The cost of living payment will be made to people claiming child tax credits or working tax credits from HMRC. In order to be eligible for help with the cost of living uk, people must have received a tax credits payment in the qualifying period between January 26th 2023 and February 25th 2023. Alternatively, they must have later been found to be eligible for a payment.
The first cost of living payment will be followed by two more payments. These total £900 paid over the next 12 months. The second cost of living payment will total £299, and the third will total £300. The dates for these payments have not yet been publicly announced.
Getting a cost of living payment 2023
Individuals may be entitled to a cost of living payment if they receive benefits such as universal credit pay, dwp payment or attendance allowance. They may also be eligible if they are over state pension age and are in receipt of winter fuel payments.
People are entitled to as many cost of living payments as they are eligible for. They can receive a second cost of living payment and more if needed to cope with rising costs. However, they will have to pay tax on these cost of living payments as they will not count as income when benefits are calculated.
From the 2nd of May 2023, one million households claiming Tax Credits from HMRC will start receiving their first cost of living payment of £301. However, this will not be a dwp payment (Department of Work and Pensions), but instead delivered by HMRC. Notably, dwp payments to those in receipt of them are paid before tax credit claimants receive their cost of living payment to avoid double payments being made. Second cost of living payments will be made in autumn 2023 and spring 2024 to those who are entitled to more help.
Receiving a benefit payment early
When applying for benefits for help with the living cost uk, people can ask to receive their first payment early. All while they are waiting for their application to be processed and evaluated, and for their first payment to arrive. This is known as a ‘short-term benefit advance’. It is available for most benefits, including disability living allowance and universal credit pay. Other benefits included are:
- Housing Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Child Benefit
- Guardians Allowance
- Working or Child Tax Credits
An individual will be expected to pay back the advance at a later date. When applying for universal credit pay, people can check how to ask for an advance payment if required.
Receiving help with energy costs
The uk government has implemented the Energy Bills Support Scheme in light of energy price hikes. Every household receives £400 off their electricity bill as part of this scheme. The money does not have to be paid back and people do not have to apply for this. The £400 is paid in instalments and began in October 2022.
If people heat their homes with an alternative fuel such as heating oil, the uk government gives them £200 to help with energy bills. This is referred to as the Alternative Fuel Payment.
The effects of the Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee means that the government has put a limit for most households on the rates a supplier can charge for gas and electricity. This is automatically applied to all types of energy tariff and lasts until April 2024. However, the limit is set to increase after June 2023.This means that people’s bills may increase or decrease depending on the trend seen in global energy prices.
People should check whether they are entitled to any other cost of living payment when it comes to energy costs, such as a fuel voucher or grant from their energy supplier.
Getting help with essential living costs
Individuals may be able to receive help from their local council when paying for energy and water bills, food, or other essential items such as clothing. This is known as ‘welfare assistance’ or the ‘Household Support Fund’. Each council runs their own scheme. People have to discover whether they can get support and what type is available to them based on where they live and their circumstances.
People do not have to be in receipt of benefits to get help from their council. However, if they do receive benefits, these will not be revoked if they start to get help from a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme.
Learning about the cost of living and pensions
If people have a personal pension, they may be able to take money from their retirement fund to help pay for essential living costs or to pay off debts. However, they should take the time to research whether this option is the most suitable for them and their situation because it will result in them having less money upon retirement. If an individual is claiming benefits, taking money from their pension could affect their claim.
It is strongly suggested that individuals seek guidance from a financial adviser before choosing whether to take money from their pension to help with the cost of living uk.
How Mintago can help with the cost of living uk
There are many ways in which Mintago can help people with rising living costs.
Free financial advisers
Users of the Mintago platform can speak to a financial adviser for free. They can choose from a selection of trusted and qualified advisers that best suit their needs and unique situation. Topics that can be covered include how to cope with uk inflation and finding out eligibility for cost of living payments 2023.
Money Helper tool
Mintago users can access the Money Helper, a tool designed to provide guidance on topics such as:
- Tackling the cost of living crisis
- Dealing with unexpected expenses
- Having no choice but to borrow money
- Looking for ways to save money
The Money Helper allows individuals who have access to Mintago to ask any questions about their financial situation, receiving the guidance they need to move forward.
Mintago users can also access benefits from partners. These help those looking for more specific advice and consultation, or some impressive discounts amidst the cost of living uk rise.
- Free, confidential debt advice
- The uk’s most affordable life insurance
Open banking and budgeting
As an agent of Plaid, Mintago’s users can connect all of their bank, credit cards and investment accounts to get a single, real-time view of their financial situation. This is helpful when beginning the journey toward improving their financial wellbeing.
Mintago’s spending tracker and budgeting tools help users keep on track and ensure they are making the most of their money during the cost of living rise.
Mintago’s users can access a range of educational journeys that help them to reach their financial goals. They can also earn points towards Mintago’s prize draws when taking these journeys.
Mintago’s users can take actionable steps to help them tackle rising energy costs due to uk inflation. Mintago’s energy page has been designed to support users with all of their energy queries amidst rising living costs.
The rising cost of living has, and continues to have significant implications for people across the uk. With inflation rates expected to rise further in 2023, individuals should be prepared for more financial pressure to mount. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced a second cost of living payment which will give some relief to people relying on disability living allowance and other dwp payments. Furthermore, people receiving universal credit pay will see an increase in payments to help cover the rising cost of living. However, these measures may not prove drastic enough to keep up with the rapidly increasing living costs in the uk.
Individuals should closely manage their finances and seek help when needed via reputable resources. In light of changing economic conditions, it is vital that people find long-term solutions to address the challenges posed by the cost of living.