Cost of living payment: 10 reasons why £650 government support hasn’t arrived in your account

Around eight million households are eligible for a £650 support payment from the government

Millions of people across the UK will receive a cost of living payment from the government this month to help with rising energy costs.

Ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £15 billion package of support earlier this year, including a one-off £650 payment that will be made to around eight million low-income households on benefits.

The first £326 instalment began to rollout to eligible households from 14 July, with the second instalment of £324 to follow later this year in autumn.

Around eight million households are eligible for a £650 support payment from the government (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)

The £650 payment is being made to people who receive means-tested benefits, which includes claimants of the the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support

Eligible households are now starting to receive the first instalment, but for those who are still waiting, here’s 10 explanations as to why the payment may not have arrived in your account.

Payments are being staggered

The DWP confirmed last month that the £326 would arrive in the bank accounts of eligible households on 14 July, but could be delayed due to the volume of people in line to receive it.

Work and Pensions minister David Rutley explained: “Due to the volume of people entitled to the payment, it is not possible to issue all of the Cost of Living Support Payments at the same time.

“Issuing payments will be staggered, but not by benefit type, starting on 14/07/2022.”

Your claim is a unique case

The DWP warned there “may be potential delays for a small minority of cases due to their unique characteristics”.

Mr Rutley added: “We currently expect the majority of payments to be made by the end of July, there may be potential delays for a small minority of cases due to their unique characteristics.”

It means the vast majority of the eight million people eligible should receive the first part of the £650 cost of living payment between 14 and 31 July.

You are on tax credits

If you are on Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, which are both administered by the HMRC, you will receive your payment slightly later than those on the benefits listed above.

The DWP confirmed earlier this year that payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly afterwards to avoid duplicate payments.

This means those who only receive tax credits should get their first £326 instalment “from autumn”, with the second  to follow “from winter”, although exact dates have not yet been confirmed.

You were outside the entitlement period

To get the first cost of living payment of £326, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended between 26 April 2022 and 25 May 2022.

The government will later announce the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.

You had ‘nil award’ of Universal Credit

You will not be eligible for the cost of living payment if your earnings reduced your Universal Credit to £0 for the qualifying assessment period. This is sometimes called a ‘nil award’. If money has also been taken off for other reasons, such as payments of rent to your landlord or for money that you owe, you may still be eligible.

You must have been entitled to certain payments

To get the first £326 instalment, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period between 26 April 2022 and 25 May 2022.

The government will later announce the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.

You must have received tax credits

To get the first £326 cost of living payment, you must have received, or later receive, for any day in the period between 26 April 2022 and 25 May 2022:

  • a payment of tax credits
  • an annual award of at least £26 of tax credits

The government will later announce the qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.

You received your benefits late

The DWP has said your cost of living payment may come later if you are awarded a qualifying benefit at a later date.

The payment will be issued to you automatically and you do not need to contact DWP or HMRC.

You changed your payment account

The cost of living payment is paid into the same account where you usually receive your benefits or tax credits, but if you change this by requesting payment into a different account or switching banks, for example, then this could interfere with the automatic payment process.

In this case, the DWP will not be able to pay the money to you until it has updated the details of your preferred method of payment, so you should inform officials of any account changes as soon as possible.

You do not qualify for the payment

The £650 payment is limited to specific benefits, so if you receive other benefits that are not listed above you will not be eligible.

The government says you are not eligible for the payment if you get New Style Employment and Support Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, unless you get Universal Credit.