The second cost of living payment arrives from today - are you eligible?

More than 8 million households are eligible to receive the £650 cost of living payment.

Woman dropping money
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From inflated food prices to increased energy bills, the cost of living in the UK has dramatically increased recently. In response, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a cost of living payment as a support measure to help the most vulnerable during the crisis.

“We know that people are facing challenges with the cost of living and that is why I’m stepping in with further support to help with rising energy bills," announced the former Chancellor.

“We have a collective responsibility to help those who are paying the highest price for the high inflation we face. That is why I’m targeting this significant support to millions of the most vulnerable people in our society. I said we would stand by people and that is what this support does.”

More than 8 million households are eligible to receive the cost of living payment, receiving the first instalment, worth £326, in July this year. And those same households are now expected to receive a second payment, worth £324 this month.

What is the cost of living payment?

The cost of living payment is a grant being paid to people who receive means-tested benefits.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng added: "We know that people have been worried about their bills ahead of this winter, which is why we’ve taken decisive action to hold down energy bills, saving the average household around £1,000 a year, and provided £1,200 of targeted support to the most vulnerable.

"Without our intervention, analysts were predicting that the average annual energy bill could have reached £6,500 next year. We were never going to let this happen. Our Growth Plan will also leave more money in people’s pockets and, over the longer term, help drive economic growth – the only way to permanently boost everyone’s living standards."

What is a means-tested benefit?

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

Who will receive the cost of living payment?

Households receiving means-tested benefits will get an additional cost of living payment of £650 in two instalments.

When is the second cost of living payment due?

The government announced that the payment will be issued directly to households in two sums, with one paid in July and the second paid in November. It will be tax-free, will not affect the benefit cap and will not affect existing benefit awards.

The second cost of living payment - a sum of £324 is expected to be made between 8 November and 23 November. It will appear in your account as "DWP Cost of Living".

Do you need to apply?

No. If you are eligible for the grant (you need to be in receipt of one of these benefits), you will not need to apply and it should be paid to you automatically.

If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will get one payment of £650 for both of you.

Are other support measures in place?

Yes, pensioners who receive the Winter Fuel Payment will receive £300 in November, and those who claim disability benefits will receive £150 before the end of September. In addition, millions of households will get a £400 energy rebate and it won't have to be repaid.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.