People to receive free £299 from today

Payments will be made between now and 22 February

Households on low incomes will start to receive a £299 cost-of-living payment from today.

Payments will be made across the UK by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between February 6 and 22.

It is the third of up to three payments totalling up to £900 paid to eligible households on means-tested benefits over 2023/24 and comes as part of a support package that has been helping households since autumn 2021.

Households receiving tax credits only will receive payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between February 16 and 22.

The payments will be sent out automatically and recipients do not need to apply to receive them.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The economy has turned a corner, and with inflation falling we are providing millions of the most vulnerable households with another significant cash boost.”

UK Government minister for Scotland John Lamont said: “This crucial cost-of-living payment will benefit more than 680,000 people across Scotland.”

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “Over 400,000 households in Wales will be receiving this payment directly into their bank accounts to help them with the cost of living.”

The UK Government said it will continue to support vulnerable people with the cost of living from April by uprating benefits in line with inflation by 6.7% and maintaining the triple lock and increasing the state pension by 8.5%, among other measures.

People can check the Help for Households website to see what cost-of-living schemes are available.

According to figures released by the Insolvency Service last week, the number of people needing breathing space from their debts jumped by 25% in 2023 compared with the previous year.

Across England and Wales, there were 88,390 registered breathing spaces in 2023, comprised of 86,928 standard and 1,462 mental health breathing space registrations, the Insolvency Service said.

A standard breathing space is available to people with problem debt and gives legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days.

A mental health crisis breathing space is available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment.

It lasts as long as the person’s mental health crisis treatment, plus 30 days.

Published: by Radio NewsHub