Families who claim tax credits and no other benefits have been warned to look out for a text telling them when to expect their £300 cost of living payment.
HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) – which makes the payment to legacy benefits claimants – has given prior warning of the SMS message, which it says it will be sending out this afternoon, to make people aware that it is not a scam.
A spokesperson said: Our customers need to be aware of scams. The message reads: “HMRC: £300 Cost of Living Payment to be paid automatically between 10-19 November to eligible tax credits customers. Search ‘Cost of Living Payments’ on GOV UK. “The HMRC text message sent on November 3 is for information only. We do not ask our customers to reply to it, and it won’t include any links. We do not ask for any personal or financial details in the message.”
The £300 autumn Cost of Living Payment is being paid between October 31 and November 19 to people claiming Universal Credit by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), but those claiming legacy benefits such as tax credits will not receive their payment from HMRC until November 10 at the earliest. This is to avoid duplicate payment being made, although all claimants on both Universal Credit and tax credits should have received their payment by November 19.
The DWP started making the £300 payment on Tuesday, October 31, and said that more than a million of the 8m people in the UK entitled to receive a payment have already got their money. Over 100,000 people in the North East are still claiming tax credits, although families in the region will soon receive a letter to begin the process of migrating to Universal Credit. Households in Durham who received a letter should have completed the move by the end of October, with all families in the UK expected to be moved from tax credits by April 2024.
Customers do not need to do anything to receive a payment. If they are eligible, payment will be made automatically into the bank account where they receive their tax credits, however HMRC has pointed out that receiving the SMS, or a previous cost of living payment, doesn’t guarantee a customer will be eligible for this or future payments. They must meet the separate eligibility criteria for each payment, as published on GOV.UK.
The spokesperson said: “The HMRC payment will appear on bank statements as ‘HMRC COLS’. If customers have not received the cost of living payment from HMRC but believe they are eligible, they should wait until after November 20 to contact us. This is to allow time for their bank, building society or credit union to process the payment.
“If tax credits customers haven’t received the text message, they should check their mobile number is up to date so they can receive such future communications from HMRC. They can do this online by searching for ‘HMRC services’ on GOV.UK.”
A total of around 395,000 North East families claiming Universal Credit and legacy benefits are due to get the the £300, which is part of the £900 DWP support package announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt during last November’s Autumn Statement. The first payment of £301 was made between April 25 and May 17 and the last payment of £299 will hit people’s bank accounts sometime in Spring 2024. The Government has not released exact dates when third payments will be made but as it has already stated that payments will all be made in the 2023/2024 financial year, the last sum should be paid before April 5, 2024.
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