Direct cost-of-living payments of up to £650 will be made to those in greatest need over the coming weeks, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has confirmed today.
The payments will be made to those on income-related and disability benefits as well as pensioners to help support those most in need during the escalating cost of living crisis.
Minister Hargey said:
“I can confirm direct payments to thousands of families, individuals, low-income workers and pensioners.
“While these payments are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough to protect all those impacted. Many people are struggling, including workers and families who are not eligible for benefits.
“The absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place makes the challenge of dealing with these issues all the greater.
“Money needs to be put directly into the pockets of people who desperately need it.”
“I am committed to doing all I can to mitigate the real and damaging impacts people are enduring.
“That is why I have reconvened the Emergencies Leadership Group as part of my strategic response to the crisis, bringing together leaders from the community and voluntary sector who are on the frontline, assisting workers, families and communities who are enduring real hardship as the crisis deepens.”
Notes to editors:
1. The payment of £650 will be paid automatically in two instalments to those in receipt of the following means tested benefits:
- Universal Credit
- State Pension Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
2. The first payment of £326 will be made in July 2022 and the second payment of £324 will be made in autumn 2022.
3. Those in receipt of both Child and Working Tax Credits will also receive a payment of £650 paid in two instalments in autumn and winter 2022
4. A £150 disability payment will be paid automatically to those in receipt of the following disability benefits on the qualifying date of 25 May 2022
- · disability living allowance
- · personal independence payment
- · attendance allowance
- · armed forces independence payment
- · constant attendance allowance
- · war pensions mobility supplement
5. Pensioner households will also receive a one-off winter fuel payment of £300 in addition to their existing Winter Fuel payment.
6. To get the first Cost of Living Payment of £326, a person must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of either:
- Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022;
- income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022;
- received a payment, or an annual award of at least £26, of tax credits on any day in the period 26 April 2022 to 25 May 2022;
7. The £300 increased winter fuel payments for pensioner households are not included in the Bill introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 16 June. Amendments to Winter Fuel Payments will be made through subordinate legislation.
8. For further information go to NI Direct
9. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on email.
10. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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