Employment and Support Allowance: Cost of Living

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

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to extend the criteria for the £650 cost of living payment to all people in receipt of Contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

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.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance is not a means tested income replacement benefit. Many People in receipt of contributory Employment Support Allowance receive a means tested benefit, therefore they will be eligible for the £650 Cost of Living Payment. As of November 2021, around 400,000 claimants received both income and contributory Employment and Support Allowance, and around 100,000 claimants received Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.

In addition, individuals may be able eligible for the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment if they are in receipt of a qualifying disability benefits.

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

Overall government support for the cost of living: factsheet - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

People in receipt of Contributory Employment Support Allowance can also benefit from the support being provided for by the Government. This includes £400 of support for energy bills through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme and an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, £421m will be used to further extend the Household Support Fund (October 2022 – March 2023). Guidance and individual local authority indicative allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

Further measures to help people with the cost-of-living challenges including frozen fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, the £150 council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.

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