Ten big money changes you need to know for the rest of the year, including more cost-of-living payments

SUMMER has begun and that means we are halfway through 2022.

But there is still plenty of time for large sums of money and ongoing payment changes that you should take note of.

1

There are many ways for you to save money this year

These dates give you the opportunity to grab some spare pennies and start saving.

Although it may seem like a long way off, we’ll tell you why now is the perfect time to start saving for Christmas.

If you have children this may be even more important as soon Santa will be packing up his sleigh so parents should be prepared.

We’ve compiled a list of important dates to mark in your calendar.

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First cost of living payment

Millions of Britons will receive the first part of the £650 cost of living payment from this week.

It is part of the Government’s support program to help with bills and essentials during the cost of living crisis.

Eight million people on Universal Credit and other benefits will see the money flow into their bank accounts between July 14 and the end of the month.

This is an easy payment to spot as it will be marked with the special DWP Cost of Living code.

The first payment is worth £326 while the second is £324.

The date when we can expect the second payment to land in our bank account has not yet been announced.

To be eligible for payment, you must receive:

  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Income Support Benefit
  • Income support
  • Work Tax Credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit
  • Universal Credit

You can read more about the cost of living here.

You can also read here how to make sure you get all the payments you are entitled to.

Deadline for tax credits

Millions of people have been warned they could miss out on thousands this year if they don’t renew their tax credits by July 31.

There are two types of tax credit for working tax and child tax credit.

Universal Credit has replaced both of these benefits, but many have yet to make the transition.

How much you get depends on your situation, but it can be worth up to £3,545 for child tax credit and £3,345 for work.

If you do not renew your tax credit, the benefit could be interrupted and you will miss out. In some cases, you may even have to pay the money back, so you need to make sure you have renewed your application.

You will have received a renewal pack to start the process.

If you want to know more about tax credits and how to claim them, you can read more here.

School Uniform Grant

Thousands of families may qualify for the School Uniform Grant.

Local councils in the UK offer grants to households who are struggling to buy their child the clothes they need.

However, it depends on which country you live in, England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and you may not be entitled to any money.

The amount you receive and when you need to apply will also change depending on the area you live in.

To qualify for the grant, you get benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Child Tax Credits.

If your child receives a free school meal, it is likely that they will also be entitled to a free uniform.

We wrote about how to apply and who is eligible for the grant here.

Changing Mortgage Rules

In August, a big change is coming to mortgages.

An affordability test for mortgages will be dropped in August, the Bank of England has confirmed.

The withdrawal will take place from August 1st.

Mortgage lenders must follow a set of affordability rules that have been established by the bank.

However, these will be abandoned after consultation on the potential impacts of abandonment they could have on mortgages.

According to Rightmove, the average house price is £368,614, which is a record high.

The test determined the level of monthly repayments you can afford. Dropping the test means it will be easier for buyers to apply for a mortgage.

If you’re wondering how to apply for a mortgage and how to improve your chances of getting it accepted, you can read The Sun’s article about it here.

Disability payment of £150

If you have a disability you may be eligible for an additional £150 under the Cost of Living Assistance Scheme.

This payment is tax-exempt and will not affect existing employee benefits.

The money will be paid directly into your bank account.

To be eligible for payment, you must receive:

  • Disabled allowance
  • Payment for personal independence
  • Attendance allowance
  • Scottish invalidity benefits
  • Army Forced Independence Payment
  • Constant attendance allowance
  • War pension mobility supplement

You can find out more about the money you may be entitled to here.

Paper £20 and £50 withdrawn

Paper notes are becoming rarer now that they’ve been replaced by machine-washable plastic notes.

Like the £5 and £10 notes, the £20 and £50 notes will no longer be in circulation from September and will no longer be accepted in shops, restaurants or any establishment that accepts cash.

The new £20s began circulating in 2020, while the new £50s came into circulation last year.

Before the change takes effect, you will need to deposit or spend all paper notes before they are no longer legal tender.

You can read more about the changes to these notes here.

£400 off energy bill

In October, every household will benefit from a reduction of £400 on their energy bill.

Payments will be made in installments over a period of six months.

The payments replace a previous plan to provide an energy rebate of £200, which households would repay. This payment is a grant, which means you will not have to pay it back.

If you pay your energy bill by direct debit, you should see the money paid into your bank account.

If you pay via a prepaid meter, you will receive a voucher or the money will be added to the meter.

You can read more about the discount here.

What is the energy price cap?

Energy prices soared after an increase in the price cap.

It is currently priced at £1,971 per year for the average household. However, it is estimated that this will increase to £2,800 in October.

The current rates are set at:

7.p per kilowatt-hour (p/kWh) for gas
28p/kWh for electricity
A standing charge of 27p per day for gas
A permanent charge of 45p per day for electricity

The cap sets a maximum amount that a customer can be charged on a variable dual-fuel tariff.

It measures typical gas and electricity consumption over a six-month period.

It was originally created in January 2019 to try and limit suppliers on how much they can charge on default energy bills, meaning households couldn’t be unfairly charged.

You can read more about it here.

Cost of living payment of £300 for retirees

Pensioners will receive an additional £300 as part of the cost of living package.

Payment will arrive in November to help pay bills and other essentials.

To qualify, you must receive a pension credit.

It is estimated that up to one million eligible pensioners could be deprived of this benefit.

The amount to which you are entitled depends on your situation, in particular if you have a partner, if you are disabled or if you are caring for a child.

If you wish to claim a pension credit, you must have reached the legal retirement age, which is set at 66 years. You must also reside in England, Scotland or Wales.

Your household income is calculated when you apply. If you do not reach the threshold, an additional amount will be allocated to you.

Your income includes:

  • State pension
  • Other pension
  • Earnings from employment or self-employment
  • most social security benefits, e.g. care allowance

Your savings, provided they are £10,000 or less, will not affect your pension credit.

You can apply four months before reaching statutory retirement age or any time after reaching it, but your application will only be backdated by three months.

You can apply online here.

You can read more about the additional discount here.

Cold Weather Payments

You may be eligible for the £25 Cold Weather Payment to help pay your energy bill this winter.

Payments begin in November and continue through the winter months, meaning you may receive payment more than once.

To be eligible for the payment, you must receive one of these benefits:

  • Pension credit
  • Income support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Income Support Benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Coverage of mortgage interest

You may also need to meet one of these additional criteria:

  • Have a disability or receive a pension bonus
  • Having a disabled child
  • Receive a child tax credit that includes a disability or severe disability component
  • Have a severe or increased disability premium
  • Receive a limited capacity for the amount of work
  • Have a child under five living with you

It is automatically paid out to anyone eligible for payment, so no application process is required.

If you think you qualify, you can tell your Retirement Centre, Jobcentre Plus Office or call the Universal Credit Helpline.

You may be entitled to other benefits.

During the cost of living crisis, former chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a cost of living package to help pay for essential expenses and energy bills.

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