Deadlines, Eligibility, and Benefits: What to Know About the £650 Cost of Living Payment for the Elderly

Seniors who are struggling to pay their bills are being urged not to miss a crucial deadline in order to qualify for an additional £650 cost-of-living payment from the government.

The first £326 is being distributed now, but the elderly have until Thursday, August 18 to register by applying for pension credit.

This supplemented the income of the poorest pensioners and automatically entitles them to the lump sum, as well as numerous other discounts and benefits.

Signing up will also result in the second £324 half of the payment being made this autumn.

Earlier this year, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £15 billion package of measures to assist people struggling to afford rising household bills.

This includes the £650 payment for those on means-tested benefits, such as pension credit, as well as an additional £300 payment for eight million pensioner households to help them cover rising energy costs this winter.

According to the charity Age UK, elderly people who are concerned about their bills should check if they are eligible for pension credit and apply before next month’s deadline to avoid missing out on the first half of the £650.

Pension credit supplements weekly income to a minimum of £182.60 for singles and £278.70 for couples, with thousands of pounds added on top for assistance with housing, heating, council tax, TV licences, and other bills.

To receive the full £650, you must have qualified for pension credit – or later be found to be entitled – between April 26 and May 25.

However, successful pension credit applications can be backdated for three months, so the deadline to begin a claim is August 18.

What else do you get if you are eligible for the pension credit?

– A cold weather payment of £25 is made automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or lower for seven days in a row.

– £140 off your electric bill with the Warm Home Discount Scheme (if eligible)

– A free television licence (if over-75)

– Free NHS dental care and assistance with the cost of glasses and hospital transportation

– Assistance with council tax and rent

– Lower-cost phone and home broadband plans

– Lower water bills

– An increase in pension credit of up to £37.70 per week for some carers

Apply for pension credit here or ring 0800 99 1234. You may also call Age UK for free national advice at 0800 169 65 65.