The Cost of Living Payments in 2023 and 2024

The DWP logo on a piece of paper on a desk
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Apr 26, 2023
4 minutes read

If you are entitled to many benefits or tax credits, you will be receiving three Cost of Living Payments from the government both this year and next year. Fortunately, it’s not something you need to apply for either. Qualifying households will automatically receive these payments, and this is also the case if you qualify at a later date. These non-taxable payments won’t affect your benefit or tax credit entitlement.

The £900 Cost of Living Payment will be paid in three instalments between May 2023 and spring next year. They will consist of £301, £300 and £299. Further details about exact dates will be announced closer to the time.

What Benefits Qualify

The following benefits apply:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Income Support

  • Pension Credit

  • Universal Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit

If you receive New Style ESA, contributory ESA or New Style JSA, you won’t qualify for these payments.

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

If you receive both of these credits, you will only receive one Cost of Living Payment for Child Tax Credit. This will be paid through HMRC as normal. Credits and benefits from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will not grant you a second Cost of Living Payment, as this can only be paid once. It will usually be paid by DWP.


You will be eligible for the first £301 payment if you were found to be entitled to one of the above benefits between 26th January and 25th February 2023. For those on JSA, ESA, Income Support of Pension Credit, you can also qualify if you were eligible but couldn’t claim because your entitlement is only between 1p and 9p.

Additional Payments

The two further Cost of Living Payments are due to be given in autumn this year and spring in 2024. These will be for the £300 and £299 amounts.

Nil Awards

You won’t qualify for the Cost of Living Payments if your benefit was at £0 for the qualifying period. This could be because you received more than one payment in the Universal Credit assessment period, your earnings or savings increased or you received another benefit. It could also happen if you received a sanction for not doing something agreed upon in your claimant commitment.

However, even if you have a nil award, you may still qualify for the Cost of Living Payments. If an amount was taken off your benefit for some reason, such as rental payments or owed monies, you will qualify. Alternatively, if you had a hardship payment because of a sanction and couldn’t pay rent, food or other needs, you will then qualify.

When You’ll Receive Payment

Most people on DWP benefits will receive their first £301 between 25th April and 17th May. Most people on tax credits will be paid between 2nd and 9th May. The £300 will be paid in the autumn, with the final £299 being paid next spring.

If you were found to be qualified and sent the money, then later found to be not qualified, you might have to pay it back, so it’s important to know if you’ll qualify in advance.