Loophole means hundreds of thousands still have time to claim full £650 cost of living payment | The Sun

A LOOPHOLE means hundreds of thousands of people still have time to claim the FULL £650 cost of living payment.

Eight million households on means-tested benefits will receive the cash, which will help go towards spiralling bills.

It will be paid in two instalments, and you will be paid the first chunk – worth £326 – by the end of July.

The exact date for when you'll get the second payment hasn't been set yet, but the money will be dished out in the Autumn.

To get the first payment, you will need to be in receipt of any of these eligible benefit payments as of May 25 this year, or have started a claim by this date and later be successful.

It means the deadline to apply for benefits and be eligible to get the £650 help has been and gone.

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But there's one benefit that you can apply for NOW and still be eligible to be paid the cost of living payment.

According to benefits charity Entitled To the deadline for qualifying for the first payment chunk is August 18 if you put in a claim for pension credit.

In order to qualify for the first payment, a person must be entitled to a payment of pension credit on any day leading up to 25 May 2022.

But claims for pension credit can be backdated for a maximum of three months – which means the qualifying date goes back to August 18.

That means you have just over five weeks left to put your application in with a chance of qualifying for the extra help in full.

What is pension credit?

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Pension credit gives you extra cash if you're of state pension age and on a low income.

It boosts the weekly income of the poorest pensioners up to £182.60 for a single person and £278.70 for couples.

Hard-up households could get up to £3,300 a year – anyone who is a carer or disabled can qualify for the higher payments.

According to the government's own figures, around £1.7billion in Pension Credit has gone unclaimed.

To qualify, either you (or your partner if you live with one) must have reached State Pension Age, which is currently set at 66.

You also need to live in England, Scotland or Wales

Your household income will be calculated when you apply, and if you fall short of the thresholds you will be awarded a top-up amount.

Your income includes:

  • State Pension
  • other pensions
  • earnings from employment and self-employment
  • most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance

If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit.

If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 worth of weekly income.

How do I claim?

You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age.

You can apply any time after you reach State Pension age but your application can only be backdated by three months.

You can apply online using the government service.

You can use the online service if:

  • you have already applied for your State Pension
  • there are no children or young people included in your application

Alternatively, you can apply by phone on the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

To apply by post, print out and fill in the Pension Credit claim form or call the claim line to request one.

How do I then get the £650 cost of living payment?

If you've made a claim in time and it's successful, you don't need to do anything to get the £650 cost of living payment.

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It is paid automatically to those who are eligible.

The payments will be tax-free and won't affect any benefits you're getting.

Cost of living payments: what you need to know

  • All the key dates for cost of living payments revealed
  • Every household will get a £400 cost of living payment to help with energy bills
  • See the full list of benefits eligible for £650 cost of living cash
  • Here's free cash you can get if you DON’T qualify for the £650 cost of living payment
  • Millions of pensioners will get a £300 cost of living payment this winter
  • Disabled Brits will get £150 this September
  • Parents can get up to £200 towards school uniform costs

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