Winter cost-of-living support payments are coming soon

THE first instalment of the government’s winter cost-of-living support payments are expected to land in more than 17,000 Rotherham people’s bank accounts this month.

More than eight million households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who claim qualified means-tested benefits will automatically be paid £324 — along with a second £326 payment — the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed.

The DWP said “struggling families” would receive a support package worth up to £1,200 to help with the rise in living costs — which will reportedly contain £400 for energy bills, a £150 council tax rebate (for 85 per cent of all UK households), and the previous £326 Cost of Living Payment made by DWP in July and by HMRC in September.

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An estimated 17,200 families — within the parliamentary constituency of Rotherham — are eligible for the two £300-plus payments.

A £300 addition to winter fuel payments will go to over eight million pensioner households over the winter.

The government said its energy price guarantee on bills could save a typical household around £700 this winter.

The Advertiser reported in June that residents were cashing in their £150 energy rebate for a tenth less than the original fee at pawn shops because they “couldn’t wait any longer” for payments to enter their bank accounts and as many were on “top-up meters”.

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At the time, council leader Cllr Chris Read said the council were making the tax energy support payments within the criteria set by government which had been “extremely challenging for all councils”, with most people receiving a payment directly into their bank account.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We will continue to act with compassion as we navigate challenging global economic circumstances.

“This latest £324 payment will help the most vulnerable people in our society who are worrying about their finances through the winter months.”