Pensioners on low income may be eligible for £299 tax-free payment

Pensioner looks at laptop

Pension Credit recipients could qualify for the third cost of living payment

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 17/12/2023

- 06:00

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed when it will pay the upcoming cost of living payment

Pensioners who are on a low income could qualify for a nearly £300 cost of living boost in early 2024.

The third instalment of the £900 cost of living payment, worth £299, will be paid to around eight million people between Tuesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 22.

It’s intended for people on certain means-tested benefits, and pensioners on a low income could qualify if they claim Pension Credit.

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit but don’t currently claim it.

Pensioner keeps warm beside a heater

Pensioners may get the £299 depending on whether they were eligible for any day in the period November 13 to December 12


The latest DWP figures found 880,000 households were eligible for the top-up benefit but did not claim it, despite it also potentially unlocking extra support.

While people who claim Pension Credit now will not qualify for the two cost of living payments, worth a total of £601, which have already been paid this year, they could be able to get the final payment.

It’s possible to check Pension Credit eligibility online, using the Government calculator.

Alternatively, people can call the Pension Credit claim line.

Pension Credit applications can be started up to four months before reaching state pension age.

People can apply any time after reaching state pension age, but it’s only possible to backdate it by three months, provided they were eligible during that time.

There are a variety of ways to apply for Pension Credit – online, by phone or by post.

The Government website explains a friend or family member can call on one’s behalf, and it’s also possible to contact voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice or Age UK to request help with the form.

Pension Credit and the £299 cost of living payment

The eligibility rules state that to get the £299 cost of living payment via Pension Credit, the person must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to have been entitled to a payment) of Pension Credit for any day in the period November 13 to December 12.

People don’t need to apply for the cost of living payments.

If they’re eligible, the DWP will pay the money automatically in the same way they usually get the benefit, even if they are found to be eligible at a later date.

These cost of living payments are not taxable and they won’t affect the benefits or tax credits a person gets.

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