The £650 low income cost of living payment: second £324 instalment to be paid from 8 November

Eight million households will get a £324 cost of living payment from 8 November. We explain who will get it and when

Mother working on computer with baby on her lap
(Image credit: Getty images)

Millions of people on low income or benefits, like universal credit, will get the second instalment of the £650 cost of living payment – worth £324  – starting from 8 November. 

It is part of the Government's cost of living crisis help package announced in May by the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and designed to help with rising bills.

This £650 payment has been split into two instalments with the first one, worth £326, paid to those eligible from 14 July.  

The second payment, worth £324, will be paid to those eligible between today and 30 November. The exact date on which you receive payment will depend on whether you get means-tested benefits or only claim tax credits.  

If you claim benefits, you’ll receive payment from today. If you claim tax credits only you’ll receive payment from 23 November.

Qualifying low income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the payment arrive in the same account used to receive benefits payments, whether that be their bank, building society, Post Office or credit union accounts, or via their Payment Exception Service voucher receipt. 

The £324 payment will be separate to their normal benefit payment and marked “DWP COL”. It means that if you qualify, in November you will get any usual benefits along with an additional £324 payment.

You do not have to apply for it and you do not have to pay the money back. 

On top of this a new one-off £900 payment was announced in the Autumn Statement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Payments will be made next year and expected to work similarly to the £650 payment but we'll update this article as soon as we know more.

Who will get the £650 cost of living payment? 

This cost of living payment is being targeted at the lowest income households and payable to those claiming means-tested benefits and tax credits.  These are -

  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child Tax Credit

According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to be eligible for the second DWP payment, families 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 in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022. 
  • Income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022

For tax credit only customers to qualify for the second payment claimants must have received a payment or an annual award of at least £26 of tax credits for any day in the period 26 August – 25 September 2022, or later found to be entitled to tax credits for this period.

These payments will be tax free and won’t affect your benefit cap or the level of any other benefits you receive.


As eight million payments are being processed they can’t all be paid on the same day so payments are being staggered throughout the month.

If you claim benefits – you should get your £324 payment between 8 – 23 November. This is also the case if you claim benefits as well as tax credits.

If you claim tax credits – but no other means tested benefits - you should get your second £324 cost of living payment between 23 – 30 November.

Both amounts will be paid directly to your bank account, or any other account your benefits are paid into.


You do not need to claim for the second £324 payment  - if you are eligible it will be paid automatically.

In his speech to the House of Commons when launching the £650 cost of living package back in May this year, the former chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that, “there is no need for people to fill out complicated forms or bureaucracy – we will send the payment straight into their bank accounts”.


Not everyone claiming benefits will get the payment, and those excluded include those who receive:

  • New style employment and support allowance
  • Contributory employment and support allowance
  • New style Jobseeker’s allowance
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Carer’s allowance


There may be some rare exceptions when payments could be delayed.  If for example you have changed your bank account since receiving the last payment but forgotten to tell DWP or HMRC this could cause a delay.  

If you claim tax credits and do not receive a payment but think you should have done – the Government advice is to wait until at least 7 December before contacting HMRC.  

If you’re claiming benefits and don’t receive the £324 payment - contact the DWP office that normally pays your benefits or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

Sue Hayward

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound.  Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!

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