Missing cost of living payment: “Am I owed £650 from last year?”

Money Edit reader Anne thinks she is missing cost of living payments. Katie Binns helps her find out

Woman sitting on a sofa with head resting on her hand
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Are you missing cost of living payments? Millions of people on low income or benefits, like universal credit, should have received the second instalment of the £650 cost of living payment – worth £324  – from 8 November. 

Missing Cost of Living payment

A Money Edit reader has written to us after missing out on payments she believes she could be owed:

Dear Money Edit,

“I read if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax benefit you should get the cost of living payments. I am in receipt of both but because I am on both income-related and contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) I received different payments. 

“The payments I received were the £150 for being disabled, the Council Tax refund of £150 and a £200 from the local Council.

“Should I have received something different?”


Money Edit’s Katie Binns explains your rights

I’m sorry you’ve missed out on this crucial payment, Anne. As someone who receives income-related ESA, you should have received the £650 cost of living payment - and received it in two parts, the first £326 and the second £324.

The charity Entitledto reassured me that no one who receives income-related ESA should be excluded if they also receive contribution-based ESA - it’s just that contribution-based ESA is not an eligible benefit in its own right to the cost of living payment.

It’s not possible to say if this is a widespread mistake - neither HMRC nor charities like Entitledto and Turn2us could comment on this.

You will now have to report the missing payment online at gov.uk. It should then take action to get the money to you. 

The full list of cost of living payments - have you gotten what you should have?

Here’s a list of cost of living payments, so you can check you’ve got everything you’re entitled to

  • A £650 cost of living payment.  This was paid to around 8 million low income households who claim means tested benefits or tax credits including Universal Credit and Pension Credit. The £650 payment is split into two instalments of £326 and £324 – the first of which was paid in July 2022 and the second payment in the Autumn. An additional £900 cost of living payment in 2023 for low income households has been announced, but information on when and how it will be paid is still to be announced.
  • Around 8 million pensioner households got an extra £300 payment, paid to those who got the Winter Fuel Allowance and made as an additional one off payment. Another £300 pensioner's payment will also be made in 2023, the government has announced, but no further details have been given on when and how. 
  • £150 Disability payment – this was made to around six million people who claim certain disability benefits including Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance. You can expect the same £150 Disability payment in 2023 the government has said. They are yet to disclose dates and how this will be paid. 
  • Households in England, Scotland and Wales with a domestic electricity account agett a £400 energy bill discount spread across six months from October 2022 to March 2023. This is being paid regardless of your income and in instalments of £66 - £67 a month. 
  • Households with oil heating received £100 this year and are to get £200 in 2023 with details to follow from the government on further details. 
  • There was a £150 council tax rebate for households living in properties with a council tax banding of A – D. This is being paid regardless of your household income as eligibility depends on your council tax band. Local councils had until 30 September 2022 to make these payments. 

In need of a helping hand? Get in touch. If you've got a money problem or question, email Katie at katie.binns@futurenet.com 

Be aware we cannot help with, or respond to, every email we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.