Government emergency support to help with the fuel costs crisis starts:

Direct payments to help with the soaring cost of living are starting to be paid by the government into eight million people’s accounts.

Low-income households on means-tested benefits will receive the money automatically in their bank, building society or credit union account.

The first £326 payment will be paid by the end of July, marked as “DWP Cost of Living”, the government has said.

A second instalment of £324 will be transferred in the autumn.

Together, they are the largest in a package of payments from the government designed to help with rising prices, and specifically soaring energy bills. Even so, recipients can spend or save the money as they see fit.

The Citizens Advice service welcomes this intervention. However, more now needs to be done, especially as they expectations around the rise in costs has now increased substantially since they were initially set.

How will I get the cost-of-living payments?

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are on track to process the first instalment by the end of July.

“All eligible households will automatically receive the first instalment, and no one needs to worry they will miss out.

“There will be a few unique cases – such as those who were not initially entitled but have gained entitlement upon appeal – who will be paid after July, as soon as possible.”

The energy bill of every household will be discounted by £400 from October, and there will be extra payments to pensioners and people with disabilities.

Those using prepayment meters have to pay slightly higher bills, and Citizens Advice has warned that the number of people seeking help because they cannot afford to top them up has reached a new record.

When a prepayment customer does not top up their meter it is known as self-disconnection

In June, we dealt nationally with over 1,319 cases on our helplines of people on prepayment meters going without power, known as self-disconnection. There were no signs of the normal drop-off in cases during the summer months.

The number of callers who were disconnecting from their energy supply and seeking help was already higher this year than for the whole of 2020 and 2021 combined.

Who will be eligible:

You may get a payment of £650 paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324 if you get payments of any of the following:

  • 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

You will not get a 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.

If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £326 and one payment of £324 for your joint claim, if you’re entitled.

For the full details of eligibility, you can check the government website at:

For help in Salford, you can make an application to the Household Support Fund – just go to the council’s website at:

If you are not able to go online easily then you can speak to somebody at your local council gateway centre.

For more advice just call us on 0808 27 87 802 or visit


Tom Togher

July 14, 2022.