Around eight million eligible households across the UK will receive a £299 cost of living payment in February, the government has announced.

The payment will be made to people on eligible means-tested benefits between 6 and 22 February and is part of a wider support package for households.

It is one of three means-tested cost of living payments being made over 2023/24, worth up to £900 in total.

The £299 payment in February 2024 will be sent automatically, so eligible people do not need to apply or take any action to receive it.

People are also being warned to watch out for any scam messages about cost of living payments purporting to be from government bodies.

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Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “We will always protect the most vulnerable, while ensuring fairness for the taxpayer.

“We know that the best way to secure long-term financial security is through employment, so we’re rolling out the next generation of welfare reforms to put thousands more people on a pathway off benefits and into work.”

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‘This cannot carry on’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Inflation has halved, but I know some families are particularly vulnerable to cost of living pressures, which is why these payments are so important.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is also encouraging low-income pensioners who are not already receiving Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as they could still qualify for the cost of living payment in February.

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