Cost of Living Payments

Find out if you are eligible below. Discover when and how you should expect to receive Government Cost of Living payments.

What you need to know:

If you are on means-tested benefits, you will receive the second of three Cost of Living Payments during 2023/24. When taken together, these payments could total up to £900 over 2023-2024. 

This includes all eligible households receiving the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit


Cost of Living payment schedule at a glance:

Which payment?

How much?



First 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment


Between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023


2023 Cost of Living Disability Payment


Between 20 June 2023 and 04 July 2023


Second 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment


Between 31 October 2023 and 19 November 2023


2023 Cost of Living Pensioner Payment


During winter 2023


Third 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment


By spring 2024


The Cost of Living Payment will be paid automatically, meaning those eligible do not need to apply or contact DWP or HMRC. It will be paid separately to benefit payments. The reference will appear in accounts with the account holder’s National Insurance number and 'DWP COL'. For tax credit-only customers, the reference will appear in accounts as 'HMRC COLS', referencing Cost of Living Support.

To be eligible for this payment, you must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either: 

  • Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended within the period 18 August to 17 September 2023.
  • Income based JSA, income related ESA, Income Support, or Pension Credit, for any day within the period 18 August to 17 September 2023.
  • For tax credit-only customers, you must have received a payment of tax credits any day within the period 18 August to 17 September 2023.

Find out more about the range of government support with the cost of living at 



  • How do I apply for these Cost of Living Payments?

    You do not need to apply for Cost of Living payments. If you’re eligible, you will be paid automatically in the same way that you usually receive your benefit or tax credits. 

  • Will these payments affect other benefits?

    These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you already receive. 

  • Why can’t you tell me the qualifying dates for later payments now? 

    Qualifying dates will be announced after they have passed to minimise the risk of fraud and work disincentives. When we’re able to announce them, qualifying dates will be published on   

  • When will the third cost of living payment be paid? 

    The third cost of living payment of £299 will be made by spring 2024.                           

  • What if I get Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit? 

    If you get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive one set of Cost of Living payments, linked to Child Tax Credit only which will be paid by HMRC. 

  • Who will pay me if I get tax credits from HMRC and a low income benefit from DWP? 

    If you receive tax credits from HMRC and a qualifying low-income benefit from DWP, you will usually be paid your Cost of Living Payment by DWP only. 

  • My Universal Credit award was £0 during the qualifying period. Will I still receive a payment?

    You will not be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment if your Universal Credit award is determined to be £0 for the qualifying assessment period. This is sometimes called a ‘nil award’. Universal Credit households can receive a nil award for various reasons, but the majority are due to the amount of household earnings. Other reasons that can cause or contribute to a nil award include the amount of capital, other income and other benefits. If money has also been deducted from your UC award for other reasons, such as payments of rent to your landlord or for money that you owe, you might still be eligible for a Cost of Living Payment.

  • Is it too late for me to claim Pension Credit and qualify for the second Cost of Living Payment?

    The DWP continues to encourage low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility. Thanks to Pension Credit backdating rules, you could still qualify for both the second Cost of Living Payment as well as the third payment due by Spring 2024 if you make a successful backdated application by 10 December 2023. 

  • Why haven’t I received a Cost of Living Payment?

     There are a number of reasons why you might not qualify for a payment, including

    • Despite applying during the qualifying period, a benefit claim has not been processed and a backdating decision is yet to be made.
    • Separating from a partner with whom there was a joint benefit claim after the assessment period – the payment will be made to the original bank account. 
    • Receiving a sanction but not receiving a hardship payment in the following month after the qualifying period. 
    • Earnings, Capital, Income or other benefits reducing a benefit payment to a Nil award or converting an ESA Income Related caseor JSA Income Based claim to a Contributory one instead.
  • How do I report a missing Cost of Living Payment?

    From 20 November 2023 a missing payment contact form will be available on This form will be available for a few weeks following the payment period for the £300 payment. The form will then be updated to advise you on how to report any further missing payments.     

    The missing payment form will become available again for the future cost of living payments after the payment dates have lapsed. 

    Retrospective exercises take place to allow DWP to pay these cases automatically for anyone who has not contacted DWP, but claimants can request these payments are made as well.


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