Thousands of Universal Credit applicants warned they would not receive £650 of living allowance

Beneficiaries of benefits like Universal Credit will only get £650 if they have a joint entitlement, as government rules mean two people are treated as one for utility bill help

Serious couple sitting on couch in new home and checking bills
Joint beneficiaries are affected by how payment rules work

Many households on benefits like Universal Credit don’t get £650 of government energy bill support due to a loophole in the rules.

Millions of households claiming certain benefits will see £650 of living expenses paid into their bank accounts over the next few weeks.

The new support was announced last month by Rishi Sunak to help struggling families cope with the fastest rising standard of living in 40 years.

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But if you have a joint entitlement with a partner, then you only get one payment of 650 euros – not two.

Government guidelines say: “If you have a joint claim with a partner, you will receive a payment of £650 for both of you, to be paid in two lump sums from July 2022 and autumn 2022 where possible.”

The news comes as a blow to households who may have been expecting £1,300 rather than £650.

When will the £650 payment hit my bank account?

The £650 will be split into two payments, with the first cash payment of £325 arriving from July for most eligible households.

The second payment of £325 is then expected to hit bank accounts in the autumn, although there is no set date.

Those applying for tax credits will get their first payment slightly later, with the first £325 not expected to be processed until autumn.

The second payment of £325 will then be sent in the winter, but again there is no set date yet.

You must be eligible for one of the qualifying benefits on May 25, 2022 to receive the first payment.

However, it is not yet clear who is entitled to the second payment.

This means thousands of Brits who are entitled to one of these benefits could potentially apply and be entitled to the second payment.

What services do I need to claim to get the £650?

The £650 payment will only be given to those claiming means-tested benefits. This contains:

Do I have to claim the £650?

Payment is made automatically to eligible households.

These payments are not taxable and do not affect the benefit or tax credit you receive.

I am not claiming these benefits – what help can I get?

There are two other one-off payments to vulnerable households.

That includes £150 for those claiming certain disability benefits and £300 for pensioners receiving winter fuel payments.

Every home in England, Scotland and Wales will also be deducting £400 from their energy bills spread over six months from October.

This replaces the £200 “loan-not-loan” originally announced by the Chancellor last year.

Critics said this support does not go far enough to help those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis, as the £200 would have to be repaid at a rate of £40 a year from 2023.

This scheme will now no longer take place as it has been replaced by the £400 rebate on your energy bills, with that money no longer having to be repaid.

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Fry Electronics Team

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