YOUR MONEY: Two changes you should be aware of THIS WEEK and how to claim it

Two major changes could be set to hit your wallets this month.

A fall in the huge energy price cap and another set of cost of living payments are the two biggest changes from July 1.

Brits will see a slight easing on their accounts as the grossly-inflated energy costs begin to ease, with the summer months typically seeing a drop in energy costs in credit from the winter.

But, even though energy costs are usually cheaper in the summer, there’s still some help available for households that need it.

The Government is offering five different payments for under-pressure households during the 2023/2024 financial year, it’s been confirmed.

Meanwhile, thousands of households across the country who have been receiving various benefits will be eligible for more one-off payments to help cover food and energy bills.

Ofgem’s new, lowered cap came into force from Saturday, July 1, although there are fears the new maximum will be unlikely to ease enough pressure on household purse strings.

Here we explain the two big changes set to hit your bank accounts this July, what they mean and everything you need to be aware of.

New Ofgem price cap

For months it seems there hasn’t been much in the way of a glimmer of hope for energy bills.

While utilities remain higher than they’ve ever been, Ofgem’s new and lowered cap came into force this weekend, meaning your provider cannot charge you more than £2,074 a year.

The cap stood at a devastating £4,279 per household per annum over the winter.

Sadly, the 17% drop is unlikely to result in a major impact on general household outgoings, according to Martin Lewis.

The Money Saving Expert website found noted that it “was an improvement” but “not the biggest improvement”.

The presenter told Laura Kuenssberg: “The current prediction – and the further out you go it’s more crystal ball gazing it is – is that it will drop a little bit more and then go up a little bit in January but still be in roughly the same amount it is now.”

If anything, it could see families struggle even more, depending on how much energy you use, as the £400 energy discount people got last winter has now come to an end.

The Ofgem cap will be adjusted once again come November.

New set of cost of living payments

If you’ve been receiving benefits such as Universal Credit or a disability allowance this year, the small bit of good news is you could qualify for the latest round of five different one-off payments.

Up to £450 is available for Brits on means-tested benefits and should have been paid by July 4.

Those eligible are people on Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit.

The DWP has also been paying a £301 cost of living payment for people on benefits such as Universal Credit.

The one-off payments were made between April 25 to May 17 – though some say they are only just now receiving it because they were missed out the first time or only later became eligible because of a new benefit claim being backdated.

A one-off sum of £150 is also being paid into accounts of people on disability benefits, such as the Personal Independence Payment, between June and July 4.

It applies to anyone who has received any of the following on April 1: Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance for adults, Disability Living Allowance for children, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland), Child Disability Payment (in Scotland), Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pension Mobility Supplement.

It’s dropping into people’s accounts up until July 4, and you must have received a payment of one of the above benefits for April 1, 2023, in order to qualify.

Claims that are backdated to cover that date will also get the payment. There will be an opportunity to report a missing payment from July 5 after the rollout has ended.

Major UK bank can give you £200 if you do this simple step