Cost of Living Payment of £301 Rolled Out to Over 8 Million Households Starting Today

Table of contents
  • Starting today, the Government will be issuing £301 payments to over 8 million households in the UK.
  • Eligible recipients can expect to receive their payments between Tuesday 25 April and Wednesday 17 May. Tax credit-only customers will receive their payments between Tuesday 2 and Tuesday 9 May.

The Government's commitment to its five priorities, which include reducing inflation, fostering economic growth, and decreasing debt, is exemplified by the rollout of these payments. The aim is to provide financial support to the most vulnerable members of society who are grappling with the rising cost of living.

To facilitate this, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be directly depositing the payments into recipients' bank accounts. The reference for the payment will consist of the recipient's National Insurance number followed by 'DWP COL.'

This £301 payment is the first of up to three payments that eligible individuals on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and tax credits, will receive. In total, these payments will amount to £900 over the course of 2023/24. Additionally, eligible individuals on disability benefits can expect a £150 payment during the summer, and pensioners will receive an extra £300 on top of their Winter Fuel Payments at the end of 2023.

This builds upon the substantial cost of living support that eligible households have already received throughout 2022. In fact, eligible households have benefited from an average of £3,300 over the past year.

Recipients do not need to apply or take any action to receive the payment. However, the payments will be staggered over the next couple of weeks, so not everyone entitled to the payment will receive it today.

Mel Stride, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, expressed that millions of families will appreciate this additional payment, as well as the forthcoming payments scheduled for the next year. He emphasized the government's ongoing commitment to supporting those most affected by rising costs through measures like increasing benefits and the national living wage, in addition to these extraordinary Cost of Living Payments in response to global challenges.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, added that the government's top priority is to halve inflation and spur economic growth, as this will alleviate the financial strain on households currently grappling with high bills and increasing prices. He pointed out that the government is implementing various measures to help individuals navigate through these challenging times, including freezing fuel duty, keeping energy bills down, increasing Universal Credit, and providing £900 payments to low-income and vulnerable families. These initiatives are part-funded through windfall taxes imposed on energy companies.

Individuals will be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment if they were entitled to one of seven benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023. These benefits include Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, and Child Tax Credit.

Once the majority of eligible recipients have received their payments from the DWP, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will distribute £301 payments between Tuesday 2 and Tuesday 9 May to one million eligible families who exclusively receive tax credits. These payments will be accompanied by the reference 'HMRC COLS' for banking purposes.

This latest payment follows the £650 Cost of Living Payment issued by the Government in 2022, along with a £150 disability payment and a £300 payment to pensioners.

While the payments are automated, individuals must have been receiving one of the qualifying benefits during the specified period to be eligible. Individuals who wish to check their benefit entitlements can use the benefits calculator on to get an estimation of what they might receive.

Particularly, low-income pensioners should check if they are eligible for Pension Credit, as they may still be able to receive the £301 Cost of Living Payment and subsequent payments if they successfully apply for backdated benefits by 19 May 2023.

Individuals who require assistance are also urged to get in touch with their local council to inquire about any additional support that may be available in their area. For instance, they can explore options provided by the DWP's Household Support Fund in England, which has a value of over £2 billion throughout its existence.

The following information pertains to the payments:

- The payments will be completely tax-free and will not be counted towards the benefit cap. Furthermore, they will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

- There will be three means-tested Cost of Living Payments, totaling up to £900. Each payment will correspond to a specific qualifying period before it is awarded. This approach allows the DWP and HMRC to concentrate support on individuals in need who meet the necessary requirements. It also enables the verification of correct payment receipt and identification of the payment value, while mitigating the risk of fraudulent activity.

- To qualify for the £301 payment, an individual (except for a limited exception detailed below) must have been eligible for a payment of a qualifying benefit as specified:

- For Universal Credit, the payment should be for an assessment period ending between January 26, 2023, and February 25, 2023.

- For all other means-tested benefits offered by the DWP, the payment should be for any day between January 26 and February 25, 2023.

- Tax credit-only customers can become eligible by receiving a payment of tax credits for any day within the period of January 26, 2023, to February 25, 2023, or later being confirmed as entitled to a payment for that period.

- Individuals on DWP benefits, other than Universal Credit, who meet all qualifying criteria, are entitled to less than 10 pence, and do not receive a benefit payment, will still receive a Cost of Living Payment.

- Over 6 million individuals receiving qualifying disability benefits will be eligible for a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 during Summer 2023. This includes individuals who receive the following benefits:

- Disability Living Allowance

- Personal Independence Payment

- Attendance Allowance

- Scottish Disability Benefits

- Armed Forces Independence Payment

- Constant Attendance Allowance

- War Pension Mobility Supplement

- The £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will be paid to all households receiving Winter Fuel Payments, following the same process as the 2022/23 payments.

- Further details regarding payment schedules and eligibility dates for the remaining Cost of Living Payments will be announced in due course.

- To obtain more information about these payments, individuals can visit [](

- For payment breakdowns at the constituency and local authority levels, individuals can visit [](

Table 1 showcases an estimate of the number of eligible households for the means-tested Cost of Living Payment by region:

| Region | Households (Thousands) | Proportion of all payments |


| London | 1,187 | 15% |

| South West | 567 | 7% |

| South East | 830 | 10% |

| Eastern | 615 | 8% |

| West Midlands | 783 | 10% |

| East Midlands | 545 | 7% |

| North West | 1,033 | 13% |

| North East | 395 | 5% |

| Yorkshire and Humber | 713 | 9% |

| Wales | 422 | 5% |

| Scotland | 686 | 8% |

| Northern Ireland | 321 | 4% |

| Total | 8,097 | 100% |

Table 2 provides an estimate of the number of eligible individuals for the disability Cost of Living Payment by region.

Households in Different Regions (in Thousands) - Contribution to Overall Payments

- London: There are 653,000 households in London, accounting for 10% of all payments.

- South West: The South West region has 524,000 households, representing 8% of all payments.

- South East: In the South East, there are 733,000 households, making up 11% of all payments.

- Eastern: The Eastern region has 535,000 households, contributing 8% to all payments.

- West Midlands: With 606,000 households, the West Midlands accounts for 9% of all payments.

- East Midlands: In the East Midlands, there are 484,000 households, making up 7% of all payments.

- North West: The North West region has 878,000 households, representing 13% of all payments.

- North East: In the North East, there are 349,000 households, contributing 5% to all payments.

- Yorkshire and The Humber: The Yorkshire and The Humber region has 574,000 households, accounting for 9% of all payments.

- Wales: There are 433,000 households in Wales, making up 6% of all payments.

- Scotland: In Scotland, there are 639,000 households, representing 9% of all payments.

- Northern Ireland: The region of Northern Ireland has 340,000 households, contributing 5% to all payments.

- Total: Overall, there are 6,748,000 households across all regions, accounting for 100% of all payments.

For media inquiries regarding this press release, please contact 0115 965 8781.

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