DWP: 1.6 million people to miss out on second cost of living payment

UK coins, the Help for Households second cost of living payment 2023 logo and the DWP benefits logo
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A cost of living payment will be landing in some benefits claimants’ bank accounts from Tuesday 25 April. However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is not giving everyone money during this second cost of living payment round. It will deny the cash to many chronically ill and disabled people, carers, and low-paid and non-working people. So, here’s who is going to miss out on the cost of living payment 2023 – thanks to the DWP. It’s potentially around 1.6 million people.

Cost of living payment 2023: who’s not entitled?

The DWP’s second round of support follows on from last year’s. It’s splitting the payment of £900 up into three stages. The first payment is £301. The DWP will be paying it into eligible claimants’ bank accounts between 25 April and 17 May 2023 for most people on DWP benefits. Then, it will pay the second amount (£299) in the autumn, and the third amount (£300) in spring 2024.

The department claims that “most people on DWP benefits” will get the payments. However, this is not accurate.

Many Universal Credit claimants will get the money. However, if you only claim one of the following benefits, you will not get the cost of living payment:

But how many people is this in total?

Over a million denied by the DWP

It’s difficult to say how many will miss out. For benefits like PIP, the most up-to-date data is from August 2022. So, based on this, the Canary has worked out roughly how many people the DWP will deny the cost of living payment to. It amounts to:

  • Around 570,000 PIP/DLA claimants.
  • Around 310,000 Carer’s Allowance claimants.
  • At least 335,000 Housing Benefit claimants.

These figures may actually be higher. This is because the DWP does not provide completely accurate figures on how many of these claimants also claim ESA.

Read on...

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There will also be contributory/new-style ESA and JSA claimants the DWP won’t give the cost of living payment to, as well. However, the DWP doesn’t provide accurate figures on the volume of these claimants.

So, the Canary has crunched some approximate numbers on ESA. We estimate that the DWP will deny around 400,000 ESA claimants the cost of living payment. However, this is based on August 2022 data. So, the figure might be slightly less now.

Overall, this means that the DWP will be denying over 1.6 million people the cost of living payment.

Benefits: still not enough to live on

Previously, the DWP denied the first cost of living payment to at least the same number of people, too. So, it seems the department’s approach hasn’t changed. It recently argued that it wasn’t giving the payment to people on ESA because:

Non-means tested benefits are not qualifying benefits for the cost of living payment in their own right because people receiving these benefits may have other financial resources available to them.

That is, some people who claim ESA may not need the money. However, the DWP means test Housing Benefit and Carer’s Allowance claimants. So, it denying the additional support to them is not excusable. Moreover, as the Canary recently reported, even with the cost of living payment, benefits are not enough for some people to live on. With inflation still high, the DWP’s weak response to the cost of living crisis means many people face a desperate year.

Feature image via SteveAllenPhoto999 – Envato Elements, UK government – Wikimedia, and UK government – screengrab

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