Chancellor unveils new measures to support families with extra energy costs in huge campaign win

3 mins read

Thursday 26 May 2022

The Chancellor has today announced a package of measures aimed at helping UK households with the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy bills.  

This follows months of tireless campaigning by Contact and families on the extra costs facing families with disabled children.

The package of help announced includes:  

  • £650 one-off payment to low-income households on most means tested benefits and tax credits (other than those who only get housing benefit or a means tested tax reduction). These payments will be made directly to eligible households. It will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. DWP will make the payment in two lump sums: the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly after each to avoid duplicate payments.
  • An additional £150 payment in September for individuals on a disability benefit, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The government will make these payments directly to eligible people across the UK. To be eligible, you must be in receipt of (or have begun an eventually successful claim for) one of these benefits as of 25 May. These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
  • The £200 loan for energy bills will no longer need to be paid back and increases to £400. Energy suppliers will deliver this support to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October. Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

For more information on each of these measures, read the government’s Cost of Living Support Package factsheet.

This extra support will be partly funded by a new windfall tax on gas and oil companies. The temporary Energy Profits Levy at a rate of 25% is expected to raise £5 billion in the first 12 months.

Amanda Batten, CEO at Contact, said: “We are pleased that the Chancellor has finally acknowledged the extra costs facing households due disability such as those who rely on life-saving equipment. We would like to thank all our supporters and charity partners for backing our Out of Energy campaign that called on government to give more financial help to disabled households.

“Calls to our helpline have become increasingly desperate over recent months as the cost of living crisis hits disabled households the hardest. The measures announced today should give families some respite. However, we know that many families still face a worrying time as prices continue to rise. We will look at the measures announced today in more detail and continue to campaign for better financial support for families with disabled children.”