A UNIVERSAL Credit loophole means that some low-paid workers may have missed out on their cost of living payment.
The cost of living payment is a £650 cash boost being given out to millions of low income Brits.
The money is arriving in two instalments to help struggling households with food and bills during the cost of living crisis.
The first half of £326, should have landed in bank accounts last month.
But it is feared that some may have missed out on their first payment due to a little known loophole.
A feature with the payroll system has meant that some people have seen their benefit entitlement removed.
In order to be eligible for the cost of living payment, you must have in receipt of Universal Credit during the assessment period between April 26 and May 25 (or have submitted a claim by then, which goes on to be successful).
But if your earnings went up during this crucial period, you would have seen your benefit entitled reduce to £0 – and this would stop you getting the cost of living payment.
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has told The Sun:
“The vast majority of existing recipients of Universal Credit will qualify for a Cost of Living payment but inevitably a small number will be ineligible on the qualification dates because of a change of income, earnings or other circumstance.
Workers might be affected if, for example, they are paid weekly – because Universal Credit is calculated on a monthly basis, in months where you receive five weeks’ pay, it may look as though you are earning more.
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The DWP also informed The Sun that the Government is providing an additional £500 million to help any vulnerable households and from October 2022, domestic electricity customers will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills.”
The DWP added that these people might still qualify for the second instalment of £324, which is due to arrive in the autumn.
We do not yet know what the qualifying dates for this part of the payment will be.
What you need to do to get cost of living payment
You may be entitled to the standard cost of living payment if you’re receiving one or more of these benefits:
- Universal Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
If you’re eligible you should receive the payment automatically and don’t need to apply for it specifically.
But you must be receiving the benefit (or have submitted a claim which goes on to be successful) within the qualifying date window.
If you missed out on the first instalment, you may still be able to claim for the second half of the money.
You may also be eligible for the £150 disability payment due in September as part of the same package.
Pensioners are also entitled to an extra £300. This means if you’re entitled to all three payments you could receive £1,100.
Make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to as every penny counts.
Every household in the UK will also receive a £400 discount on their energy bills this year.
And here’s free cash worth up to £2,050 if you don’t qualify for the cost of living payment.