Millions of people across the UK are struggling to meet their financial obligations as the cost of living crisis persists.
A study by the Financial Conduct Authority put the figure at as high as 10 million, up 3.1 million year-on-year, and warned that many had to choose between heating and eating and were forced to cancel insurance policies to make ends meet.
With inflation still in the double digits of 10.1%, the cost of goods in supermarket aisles and high street shelves remains high – doubling in many cases, according to a recent survey which? – Household budgets continue to be stretched after a long winter of high energy bills.
And, while there is state support to help those on low incomes combat it, several government initiatives that promised help throughout the winter, such as the warm home discount and the cold weather payment scheme, have now stopped applying and closed on April 1. Fades with the seasons.
The government’s Energy Bill support scheme, launched by Rishi Sunak during 11 Downing Street last year, has also now come to an end, handing out the final £67 installment of a £400 total in late March.
Below, we look at what support families can expect this June.
Pay an additional £1,350 for support
Millions of low-income households will receive extra living-cost support from the government this year, worth up to £1,350, despite the expiry of the Energy Bill support scheme.
Eight million eligible means-tested benefit claimants, including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits, will receive £900 in three instalments directly into their bank accounts starting this spring, with work and The Department of Pensions (DWP) said.
There will also be separate payments of £150 for over 6 million disabled people and an extra £300 for over 8 million pensioners.
here has payment window As announced so far, more precise dates are expected later this year:
- £301 – first living expenses payment – disbursed between 25 April – 17 May (or 2 – 9 May for people on tax credit but no other low income benefits)
- £150 – Disability Allowance – Summer 2023
- £300 – 2nd living expenses payment – Autumn 2023
- £300 – Pensioners Payment – Winter Period 2023/4
- £299 – 3rd living expenses – Spring 2024
The energy price guarantee is still in play
There was some good news in Jeremy Hunt’s March 15 budget, with the chancellor announcing the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) – introduced by Liz Truss last September to ensure households pay Electricity and gas bills up to £2,500, subsidized by government Under Ofgem’s energy price cap, remaining payments owed to suppliers will be extended for a further three months.
Mr Hunt reportedly wanted to increase the EPG to £3,000, a rather ungenerous offer to ease the burden on the state, but eventually went ahead and extended the guarantee to April, May and June .
“High energy bills are one of households’ greatest concerns, which is why we have kept our energy price guarantee at current levels,” the chancellor told parliament in his spring statement.
“With energy bills set to fall from July, this temporary change will bridge the gap and reduce pressure on households, while also helping to lower inflation.”
Without this help, the average household pays £4,279 a year in bills between January and April, but thanks to the EPG this has been reduced to £2,500, leaving the government with the remaining £1,779.
Ofgem has since lowered its price cap by 23 per cent to £3,280 for the second quarter of this year, with Mr Hunt’s decision meaning the public will continue to be protected, rather than paying in full, while the state will pay less, more such as per household £780.
Benefits go out as usual
State support, usually in the form of welfare and pension payments, will also be delivered as usual in June, without bank holidays confusing delivery dates.
Anyone wishing to receive any of the following payments from DWP can do so on the regular dates of the month.
- universal credit
- state pension
- pension credit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Individual independent payment
- work allowance
- carer allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- income support
- jobseeker’s allowance
For more information on how and when state benefits are paid, visit government website.
Other recent announcements from the DWP refer to the date when manual applicants can apply for the next winter fuel payment later this year (18 September) – which could range from £250 to £600 depending on need – and remind those Those of state pension age (66 or over) who are sick or disabled may be entitled to a monthly payment of £272.40 or £407 for care under the Attendance Allowance Scheme.