Money Wellness
Image of a sign outside a building saying 'Department of Work and Pensions'
category iconbenefits
calendar icon13 Dec 2023

February cost of living payment confirmed – will you get an extra £299?

Around eight million household will receive the third and final cost of living instalment in February the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed.

The payment of £299 will be made to those who’re on eligible means-tested benefits, such as universal credit, pensions credit and child tax credit, at some point between 6 February and 22 February.

To qualify for the cash, you need to have been claiming a qualifying benefit between November 13 and December 12.

After this payment has been made, households will have received £900 in total to help towards rising household bills.

Those eligible won’t have to do anything to receive the payment as it’ll be paid directly into their bank accounts.

The payment will show in your bank as your National Insurance number followed by DWP COL or HMRC COLS.

Alongside the payment date, the government has also announced it’ll spend £104 billion on helping people with the cost of living between 2022 and 2025 – worth around £3,700 to every eligible household.

The measures include:

  • Uprating benefits by 6.7% from next April
  • Increasing the state pension by 8.5% from next April
  • Increasing the local housing allowance by £7 billion from next April

It’s also encouraging low-income pensioners not already receiving pension credit to check their eligibility.

This is because pension credit claims can be backdated by up to three months if successful. And means thousands more pensioners could still qualify for the second cost of living payment, as well as this last final one – a total payment of £599.


Who is eligible for the cost of living payment?

You may be entitled to up to three cost of living payments of £301, £300, and £299 if you get any of the following benefits or tax credit on certain dates.

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income support
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

The payment is made separately to benefits and will not affect your entitlement or the tax credits you get.

You will not be entitled to the cost of living payment if your benefit is reduced to £0 for the qualifying period. This is sometimes referred to as ‘nil award.’

Reasons your benefit may be reduced to £0 include:

  • You got more than one payment or earnings in your universal credit assessment period
  • Your or your partner’s earnings went up
  • You started getting another benefit
  • You got a ‘sanction’ because you didn’t do something you agreed in your claimant commitment

You may still be eligible for a cost of living payment if your benefit is reduced to £0 and one of the following applies:

  • Money was taken off your benefit for other reasons, such as payments of rent to your landlord or for money that you owe
  • You had a hardship payment because you couldn’t pay rent, heating, food or hygiene needs
Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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