More than 11,000 families to get £650 cost-of-living payments in Hemel Hempstead

Households have been warned energy bills are likely to surge higher in the coming months
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More than 10,000 Hemel Hempstead families are set to receive £650 to help with the cost-of-living crisis, new figures show.

Families receiving means-tested benefits – including universal credit, jobseeker's allowance, or child tax credits – are set to automatically receive £326 between July 14 and the end of the month, to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Another payment of £324 will follow in the autumn.

UK five pound, ten pound, twenty pound and fifty pound notes with one pound coinsUK five pound, ten pound, twenty pound and fifty pound notes with one pound coins
UK five pound, ten pound, twenty pound and fifty pound notes with one pound coins

The Department of Work and Pensions estimate that around 11,200 families are set to receive the payment in Hemel Hempstead.

This comes alongside a £150 payment for those who claim disability benefits, set to be paid in the autumn – with the same figures showing around 8,200 disabled individuals are set to benefit in the area.

The payments come amid criticism from charities that the Government is not doing enough to tackle the soaring cost of basic goods and fuel – and that the money might not have arrived in some people's bank accounts by the end of the month.

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Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance charity, said: “We can’t allow any delays to cost of living support packages. People want a society where we have compassion for each other, founded on a shared belief in justice.

"We need a government that’s committed to putting those ideals into urgent action to help the growing number of people facing hardship and struggling to get by.”

Market researcher Cornwall Insight has said bills could rise from a current record of £1,971 a year, to £3,245 in October and then further to £3,364 at the start of next year.

A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics found around nine in 10 British adults said their living costs had increased over the previous month.

And just under half reported they were buying less food when food shopping, while 48% said they had to spend more than usual on what they normally buy.

The DWP estimate around 8.2 million families are set to receive a means-tested cost-of-living payment across the UK – including 627,000 in the East of England, or 23.9% of households in the region, according to the latest census data.