A WARNING has been issued to millions of households that are still waiting to receive the £301 cost of living payment.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has explained how the Early May bank holiday will affect when you'll get the cash.
Eight million people are eligible for the cost of living payment which has started to be paid into bank accounts automatically.
Some 4.8 million have already received the cash since April 25 when payments began.
But if you've not yet received the cash yet – payments will continue to be made up to Wednesday, May 17.
The DWP has said that the next set of payments will be made on Tuesday, May 2 to take into account the fact that no payments will be issued on the Early May bank holiday on Monday, May 1.
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You'll be able to spot when the free cash lands as it will come with a special code.
If you receive University Credit or a legacy benefit that isn't tax credits, you'll be paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
You'll be able to see when the money has landed in your bank account by looking for the words: DWP COLP along with your National Insurance number.
Payments to those receiving tax credits will also begin on May 2.
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There is always a short delay in issuing these payments to ensure those on other benefits, as well as tax credits, aren't paid twice.
These households will be paid between May 2 and May 9 and will be paid by HMRC instead.
Those receiving tax credits should look out for a specific code in their statement showing it's the cost of living payment – "HMRC COLS".
If you receive tax credits along with a qualifying benefit from DWP, you will be paid by the DWP.
What is the £900 cost of living payment and who is eligible?
The £900 cost of living payment is designed to help struggling households with essential costs, such as energy and food.
The payment, which is tax-free, has been split into three instalments worth £301, £300 and £299.
The second and third instalments are set to be paid in the autumn of this year and spring of 2024.
All in all, eight million people will receive the payment.
You'll be eligible for the payment if you were entitled to the following benefits between January 26 and February 25:
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Pension credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
- Universal Credit
But not everyone receiving the benefits listed above will qualify.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said that those receiving a Universal Credit "nil award" during the qualifying period won't get the free cash.
Other benefits that don't qualify for the £301 one-off cost of living payment include:
- Attendance allowance
- Carer's allowance
- Child benefit
- Disability living allowance (DLA)
- Contributory, or "new style", employment and support allowance (ESA)
- Guardian's allowance
- Contribution-based, or "new style", jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
- Maternity allowance
- Personal independence payment
- State pension
- Statutory adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental pay
- Statutory sick pay
What other help is coming?
Millions of people with disabilities and pensioners will receive cost of living payments worth up to £300 later this year and into 2024 too.
Over six million people will receive a £150 disability cost of living payment this summer.
You may be entitled to the payment if you receive any of the following benefits:
- 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
Millions of pensioners will receive a £150 or £300 cost of living payment from November this year too.
You will be eligible for the payment if you are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24.
Effectively, the cost of living payment will top up your Winter Fuel Payment.
Eligible households will be sent a letter in October or November telling them how much their total payment is.
In some circumstances, you might be eligible for all three cost of living payments.
That means you will get £1,350 free cash from the government.
Beyond the cost of living payments, extra help is coming via the Household Support Fund, which has been extended until March 31, 2024.
The Fund is a central pot of money from the government that is shared between local councils in England.
They then decide who to distribute the money to, and how to.
It can come in the form of a voucher, or a direct cash payment into your bank account.
In most cases, the support is offered to those on a low income or certain benefits.
You should check with your local council if you are eligible for any support.
If you don't know what council area you fall under, you can use the Government's council locator on its website.
Meanwhile, here are seven loopholes that could stop you from getting the cost of living payment.
Plus, more information on who will be getting the payments and when.
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