Millions of Households Receive £301 Government Payment Next Week

Millions of Households Receive £301 Government

Starting next week, millions of households across Great Britain will receive a £301 cost of living payment as part of the UK Government’s £900 support package for those on means-tested benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make payments to approximately 7.2 million households between April 25 and May 17, 2023, including 686,000 in Scotland.

Families qualifying due to an entitlement to Universal Credit will receive over four million payments, while just under 1.4 million pensioner households will have the money deposited automatically in their bank accounts during the payment window. 

The remainder of families will qualify due to entitlement to legacy DWP benefits such as Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, and Tax Credits-only.

Who is Eligible for the Government Payment?

The £301 payment is tax-free and will not count towards the benefit cap or have any impact on existing benefit awards. To be eligible for the payment, households must receive one of the following means-tested benefits: Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, or Child Tax Credit.

However, the payment will not be made to those receiving New Style ESA, Contributory ESA, or New Style JSA, and joint claims will receive a single payment of £301 using the same payment method if eligible.

Households will be eligible for the payment if they were entitled to receive one of the qualifying benefits for any day during the period from January 26, 2023, to February 25, 2023. Even if a person’s Universal Credit is reduced to £0 for the qualifying assessment period, they might still be eligible if money has been taken off for other reasons, such as payments of rent or money owed.

The purpose is to help those on lower incomes or impacted by the cost of living crisis to be able to afford basics such as food, travel and utilities and avoid high cost loans such as payday loans and other revolving credit.

Can Pensioners Qualify for the Government Payment?

The DWP is encouraging low-income pensioners not already receiving Pension Credit to check their eligibility. If a person makes an application for Pension Credit before May 19, 2023, which later runs out to be successful, they can still qualify for the £301 cost of living payment because Pension Credit is a retrospective benefit that can be backdated by up to three months, taking it to within the qualifying period of January 26 – February 25.

People can check their eligibility for Pension Credit by using the online calculator on GOV.UK or by calling the Pension Credit helpline. Those on Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits and a qualifying DWP benefit will receive their payment from DWP between April 25 and May 17, 2023. For those in receipt of Tax Credits-only, the payment will be made through HMRC between May 2 and May 9, 2023.

How Many Payments Is the Government Making? 

In total, approximately 8,097,000 payments will be made, with Universal Credit recipients receiving the most payments at 4,513,000, followed by Pension Credit recipients at 1,384,000, Income-based ESA recipients at 1,128,000, Tax Credits recipients at 891,000 (to be paid between May 2-9), and Income Support recipients at 148,000.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.