Millions of households across the UK will receive £300 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 31 October and 19 November.

This is the second of 3 payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or tax credits, in 2023 to 2024, and eligible pensioner households will also receive a further £300 payment later this year as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment.

The £300 Cost of Living Payment will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply, contact the Government, or take any action to receive it. 

This includes tax credits-only customers who will receive the payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 10 and 19 November 2023.

The payment reference for bank accounts will be the recipient’s National Insurance Number followed by DWP COL or HMRC COLS.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“The best way we can boost bank balances is by bearing down on inflation, but as we get there, we are ensuring the most vulnerable households are cushioned from high prices with a further Cost of Living payment.

“Alongside this, thousands of Work Coaches across the country are helping find work, increase their hours and boost their skills. I encourage anyone who wants to progress their career and strengthen their finances to visit their local Jobcentre to find out what help is available.”

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added:

“Halving inflation and getting price rises under control is the best way to support households struggling with their bills. 

“But it is also right that we are helping the most vulnerable in our society, and this latest Cost of Living payment is part of a package of support worth £3,300 per household on average over this year and last to help those struggling the most.”

The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the second Cost of Living Payment are those who are eligible and receive at least one of the following:

Universal Credit

Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Income Support

Working Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit

Pension Credit

To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment from DWP, you need to have been entitled to a payment for a qualifying benefit between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023, or payment for an assessment period, ending between these dates. 

From HMRC, you need to have received a payment of tax credits for any day in the period between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023.

The DWP continues to encourage low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as – thanks to Pension Credit backdating rules – they could still qualify for both the second Cost of Living Payment as well as the third payment due in Spring 2024.

Over eight million pensioner households will also receive a further £300 payment later this year in addition to the Winter Fuel Payment.

Additional information

These payments are tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.

The 3 means-tested Cost of Living Payments for 2023 to 2024, worth up to £900 in total, are being delivered in three slightly different amounts, each relating to a specific qualifying period before the payment is made. 

This allows DWP and HMRC to ensure support is targeted at those who need it and are eligible; to determine if a payee received the correct payments and identify the payment value; and to reduce the risk of fraud.

To get the £300 payment someone must (subject to a very limited exception) have been entitled to a payment of a qualifying benefit as follows:

for Universal Credit, payment for an assessment period ending between 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023

for all other DWP means-tested benefits, payment in respect of any day between 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023

for tax credits-only customers, a payment of tax credits in respect of any day in the period 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023, or later be paid in respect of any day in this period

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

For joint tax credits claimants, where one claimant receives Working Tax Credit and the other claimant receives Child Tax Credit, payments will be made into the same bank account as the Child Tax Credit.

Payment windows and eligibility criteria for the third Cost of Living Payment will be announced in due course.

For more information on these payments, please visit Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024

For those requiring an extra layer of cost of living support, people are encouraged to visit their council website to find out what extra help is available at a local level. 

Councils in England are continuing to offer various forms of support to cover the cost of essentials thanks to DWP’s £842 million extension to the Household Support Fund this year

DWP will pay over seven million households and HMRC will follow with around 830,000 more, bringing the total number of households eligible for the Cost of Living Payment to around eight million

Receiving a previous Cost of Living Payment does not mean you will be entitled to a future one. Customers will need to meet the separate eligibility criteria for each payment

The number of payments made by HMRC has reduced over time, when compared with the 2022 to 2023 HMRC payments, as people move from tax credits to Universal Credit and may therefore receive their latest payment from DWP if they are eligible

Beware of scams targeting Cost of Living Payments. If someone contacts you about this payment saying they are from DWP or HMRC, it might be a scam. 

Check advice on spotting scams by visiting GOV.UK and searching ‘phishing and scams’