Cost of Living: Government Assistance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5th July 2022.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the eligibility for Cost of Living Payments for people on Low Income Benefits, if she will make it her policy to include receipt of Housing Benefit in the eligibility criteria for the award of £650 payments.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government is rightly targeting the £650 Cost of Living Payment support at low-income households in receipt of qualifying means tested benefits.

Housing Benefit is not a means tested benefit. It is also administered directly from Local Authorities, often directly to a landlord. Payments to those receiving only Housing Benefit could not therefore be delivered in a quick, accurate and straightforward manner.

The majority of Housing Benefit claimants also receive a qualifying means tested benefit and will be eligible for the £650 Cost of Living Payment. Pensioners will also be entitled to the increased Winter Fuel Payment of £300 per household. Individuals in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit will also be entitled to the £150 disability Cost of Living Payment.

For those that are not eligible for the means-tested Cost of Living Payment, or for families that still need additional support; the Government is providing an additional £500 million to help households bringing total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, this will take the form of an extension to the Household Support Fund backed by £421m and is administered by Local Authorities. Devolved administrations will receive £79 million through the Barnett formula.

These payments are only part of the Government’s package of support and sits alongside:

  • the £400 of support for energy bills through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
  • the freeze in fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, £150 council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.

The guidance with the full list of support can be found at:

Overall government support for the cost of living: factsheet - GOV.UK (

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