DWP announces new cost of living payments


The DWP has stressed that assistance is not solely restricted to vulnerable households on benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions has disclosed details about who is eligible for a new round of summer cost of living payments. Thousands are set to pocket financial aid between now and the end of September, thanks to the six-month extension of the Household Support Fund.

The amount up for grabs depends on how each local authority decides to use its allocation. The Department for Work and Pensions is supplying data and information to authorities to help pinpoint those in need within their communities. This includes Universal Credit claimants with limited work capability or earnings below the thresholds for free school meals and prescriptions. It also covers recipients of the Guarantee Credit and/or Savings Credit elements of Pension Credit, those on income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and individuals who only receive Housing Benefit.

The DWP has stressed that assistance is not solely restricted to vulnerable households on benefits. It is urging local councils to tap into other sources of information to identify individuals who qualify for extra support. This includes suggestions or referrals from professionals such as social workers, early help key workers and family support, health visitors, and housing support officers, reports Birmingham Live.

Officials have pointed out that the Household Support Fund is designed to help a wide range of low-income households in need. This includes families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, individuals leaving care, disabled people, larger families, single-person households, and those hit by “one-off financial shocks or unforeseen events.”

The department is calling on local councils to consider the needs of disabled people who are struggling to manage their conditions, maintain independence, and avoid social isolation. Some are facing steep gas and electricity bills because they need energy to run vital medical equipment, while others incur higher costs for water or transport.

Local authorities are being “strongly encouraged” to explore how they can support this group. They are also required to keep track of the total financial assistance given to disabled people so that the Department for Work and Pensions can check how the funds are being spent.

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