Temperatures have dropped below zero across the UK, leaving some people shivering in their homes due to the spike in energy prices.
To help households through the cold weather, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched an additional scheme called the Cold Weather Payment to help some people through the difficult season.
The Cold Weather Payment is designed to help those who need extra income to cover the higher energy bills during the cold spell.
Am I eligible?
If you get these benefits, you may be eligible for the payment:
- Pension credit
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-related allowance for job seekers (JSA)
- means-tested employment and support benefit (ESA)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Support mortgage interest deduction (SMI)
Not everyone who receives the above allowances is entitled to the allowance. It usually depends on whether people have additional needs because, for example: they have a disability or pension premium; a child who is disabled; a child under the age of 5 living with them; or a health condition that limits their ability to work, among other things.
What is the payment?
During the cold season, eligible households can receive £25 for any seven-day period of “very cold weather” between November 1 and March 31, according to gov.uk.
The government defines a period of very cold weather as follows: “The average temperature in your area must also be recorded as zero degrees Celsius or lower for 7 consecutive days,” based on the nearest official weather station.
After each period of freezing weather, payments will be made to the accounts within 14 working days.
Payments are made to the same bank or mortgage bank as your benefits.
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How cold did it get last night?
How to claim
You do not need to apply as payments are made accordingly, based on the benefits you already receive.
But if you have a baby or a child under the age of five in your home and the DWP is not aware of this, you must tell Jobcentre Plus.
If you have not received payment and believe you are eligible, please contact the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.
If you currently live in Scotland you will not be able to receive the Cold Weather Payment, but you may be able to receive an annual £50 winter heating payment instead.
Can those around you receive this payment?
You can find out if your area is cold enough to pay by checking the zip code checker on the DWP website.