Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivers his one-year Spending Review in the House of Common

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced further measures to help UK households amid the deepening cost-of-living crisis - Credit: PA

After months of pressure, Rishi Sunak has announced further measures to support UK households struggling with the deepening cost of living crisis.

Millions of households will receive a series of payments to alleviate the rising cost of bills and he has confirmed a temporary £5bn windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

Here is what today's announcement means for you.

Households to receive a non-repayable £400 energy grant

Households in England, Scotland, and Wales will receive a £400 payment to help offset the soaring increase in energy bills from October.

All households with a domestic electricity connection will be automatically eligible for the grant.

Bill payers will not need to contact their energy company as the grant will be automatically applied to every household bill in October.

Direct debit and credit users will have the money credited to their account, while those with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

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It replaces the £200 loan announced by the chancellor earlier this year and will not need to be repaid.

Around eight million low-income households will receive £650

Mr Sunak said the one-off cost of living payment for around eight million households on means-tested benefits will be sent directly to their bank accounts.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make the payment in two lump sums, the first from July, the second in autumn, with payments from HMRC for those on tax credits following shortly after.

The payments will be sent straight to people’s bank accounts.

Across all the support, almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households will in total receive at least £1,200, Mr Sunak said.

More support for pensioners 

More than eight million pensioner households in receipt of winter fuel payments will be given an extra “pensioner cost-of-living payment” of £300.

Combined with an additional discount on energy bills, pensioners are at least £500 better off following Thursday’s announcement.

They could receive a total of £850 in support this year, assuming they qualified for the council tax rebate announced earlier in 2022.

Mr Sunak stressed that pensioners were “disproportionately impacted” by higher energy costs due to being less likely to be able to top up their income through work, and faced higher energy costs from spending more time at home.

People on disability payments to receive an extra £150 payment

The six million people who receive non-means-tested disability benefits will be sent an extra one-off disability cost of living payment worth £150 from September.

Mr Sunak said many within this group will also receive the £650 payment, taking their total cost of living help to £800.

How do I make sure I get my payment?

Mr Sunak said the payments will not require any additional form-filling and will be paid via existing account set-ups.