Third round of Cost of Living funding 

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For those millions of households who are on a low income and eligible to receive financial support from the Government’s Cost of Living scheme, a third payment of £299 should have been received between 6 and 22 February 2024.

To be eligible for the third Cost of Living Payment, individuals need to have been in receipt of one or more of the following benefits, between 13 November 2023 and 12 December 2023:
•    Universal Credit
•    Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
•    Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
•    Income Support
•    Pension Credit
•    Child Tax Credit
•    Working Tax Credit

If eligible, £299 will be paid automatically and directly to the benefit recipient, so there is no need to apply. However, in order to check if the money has been received, the bank account payment reference for the third Cost of Living Payment will be the benefit recipient’s National Insurance Number, followed by ‘DWP COL. If  Tax Credits are being received the reference will be, ‘HMRC COLS’.

The £299 payment will be tax free and will not have any impact on existing benefit entitlements.

Pensioners on a low income who are not already in receipt of Pension Credit are being encouraged by the Government to check their eligibility for it. Doing so could not only increase their income on an ongoing basis but also, due to backdating rules applicable to Pension Credit, allow them to qualify for the third Cost of Living Payment.

It is important to be aware of scams targeting Cost of Living Payments. Therefore, if you are contacted by someone about the scheme, alleging to be from the DWP or HMRC, it may be a scam. You can find advice on spotting scams by visiting the GOV.UK website -  Avoid and report internet scams and phishing: Report scam HMRC emails, texts, phone calls and letters - GOV.UK (

If you believe you should have received the third Cost of Living Payment but haven’t received it, details of how to report the missing payment can be found here:  

We are here to help - Money and Benefits Advice Service

We offer a free, confidential and impartial Money & Benefits Advice service to all residents and staff. Advisers can assist with benefit checks, updating claims and identifying other forms of support that may be available. To speak to an adviser or book an appointment please contact JRHT’s on 0800 5870211 or at

The Money and Benefits Advice Service secured £640k of additional money for residents in 2023.