Money Matters – March 2024

Cost of Living Payments

Did you receive yours?

Remember that the Government Cost of Living payments for those on means-tested benefits or certain disability benefits should come automatically into the same bank account where you receive your benefits—you don’t need to apply again. If you receive a call, text, or email asking you to apply for the Cost of Living (COL) payment, it could be a scam. 

There were 3 payments due to those on qualifying benefits for 2023/2024, for £301, £300 and £299. 

Qualifying benefits include: 

If you believe you were entitled to the most recent COL payment but did not receive it, you can either apply online or call the DWP office that pays your benefit. Ensure you contact the DWP office that pays your benefit for earlier COL payments. 

Suppose you became eligible for one of these qualifying benefits later, and the benefit was backdated to the qualifying period (see table below). In that case, you may be one of the residents who missed out and should contact DWP about a ‘missing COL payment.’ 

To save time, please check your bank statements carefully to see if you were actually paid. 

Which Payment?

Qualifying period

You were in receipt of a qualifying benefit or subsequently became eligible for that benefit during the dates below

Date you should have been paid
£299 Cost of Living Payment 13 November 2023 to 12 December 2023.

 

Between 6 February to 22 February 2024 for most people.
£300 Cost of Living Payment 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023.

 

Between 31 October and 19 November 2023 for most people.
£301 Cost of Living Payment 26 January 2023 to 25 February 2023. Between 25 April and 17 May 2023 for most people.
Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 (for those in receipt of PIP, DLA, or Attendance allowance) 1 April 2023. 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023.

Good news story

One of our residents reached their State Pension Age at the start of September 2023. Their claim for Pension Credit was not assessed for several months due to a mistake by DWP – her claim was finally evaluated in February 2024. She was eligible for a small Pension Credit, which was backdated to her birthday in September 2023. This means they had eligibility for Pension Credit for 2 of the above ‘qualifying periods’ and will now receive a £200 and £300 Cost of Living Payment. Furthermore, as she was on Pension Credit for the correct qualifying period, they became eligible for the £150 Warm Home Discount Scheme. A total of £650 was awarded for help with the cost of living.

A change in the law for Bereavement Support Payments

Until recently, couples who aren’t married or in a civil partnership and live together were not eligible for support payments when their partner passed away.
This has changed since 9 February 2023, and now couples who are dependent on children can make new claims for Bereavement Support Payment if their partner dies. The law change will ensure more children in bereaved families are equally supported, regardless of their parent’s legal relationship status.

For more information, please visit Bereavement Support Payment page.

A resident story: Backdating for those who lost their partner before the change in law

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) opened a particular 12-month application window for bereaved parents with dependent children whose partner died before 9 February 2023. This ‘window’ closed on 8 February 2024. ccha welfare advice service supported one resident to apply on 7 February, just in the nick of time! 

Our resident sadly lost their partner, who they were living with but not married to, a few years ago. Our residents shared parental responsibility for their partner’s child. 

We applied for backdated Bereavement Support (lump sum payment) and a monthly fee to cover the period between when the partner passed away and when their child turned 18. Obviously, nothing will make up for our resident’s loss. Still, the backdated DWP payments enabled them to clear several debts and put some money away for the future. 

Claims for Bereavement Support Payment can be made online via gov.uk, over the phone or through a paper application form. Claims for Widowed Parent’s Allowance will be processed by paper. Paper applications can be downloaded or requested over the Bereavement Service helpline.

Annual changes to your rent 

If you receive help to pay your rent directly to you or the landlord (ccha), you will shortly receive a letter telling you what the new rent will be from April 2024 to the end of March 2025. 
You must read the information below and take any necessary actions to pay the correct rent for your property.

For Housing Benefit claimants

If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to you, it is your responsibility to inform the council that pays your benefit what your new rent is:

If ccha receives your benefit directly, we will inform the council of any changes to your rent. However, you can also call or email them to make sure they have the correct figures. In case you need help and support, please contact our Welfare Advisor Jane White on 0800 054 6710 or by email janew@ccha.biz.

For Universal Credit claimants 

You will receive a message and a link in your ‘TO DO’ list on your UC journal. Please follow the instructions to report your new rent. Please note that you must report these details correctly and on time. If your letter states RENT and SERVICE CHARGES separately, you should write these figures separately in your UC journal. The instructions in the link will guide you, but please call us on 0800 054 6710 if you need any help. 

Please also contact us if you have not received a link by 4 April 2024. 

 

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and how we deliver services.

We have gathered information so that residents can access information and  support throughout this challenging time.

The Coronavirus support and information FAQ is now available on our website: https://ccha.biz/quick-links/frequently-asked-questions/

Find out how to stay safe and supported, with information on local support, helplines, protection from fraud and much more.

Join our mailing list so that we can let you know when things change.  Email us at: citeam@ccha.biz

We are pleased to present the 33rd edition of our newsletter for residents, cchatzone.

By now, you should have received your copy of the latest edition of cchatzone in the post. Here’s why you should give it a read!

This edition places a heavy focus on the launch of our new interactive website, explaining the new features and benefits to our residents as well as the introduction of the ‘myaccount’ feature which allows you to view your rent balance as well as update the information we hold on you. We also have a wonderful winter recipe to help keep you warm on these cold nights. The recipe is provided by a ccha resident.

You can also expect to find all the usual popular cchatzone staples inside, such as opportunities, resident stories and the ccha Kidz page.

You can now view the electronic version of cchatzone by clicking here

Don’t forget your MyAccount login.

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