During the coldest months of the year, Cold Weather Payments offer a helping hand to families and people who are entitled to benefits or other income support. If the temperature drops to zero degrees or below, those who are eligible can access extra cash to help keep themselves warm. This is how to find out if you’re entitled to Cold Weather Payments, and how to claim them.
What is Cold Weather Payment?
Cold Weather Payment is a payment people can access if the temperature where they live drops to zero degrees celsius or below for seven days.
For each seven days of freezing temperatures, you can claim £25.
Cold Weather Payments are valid for cold weather between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
After the week of extremely cold temperatures, your Cold Weather Payment should be paid to the same bank account you receive benefits in.
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It should be paid within a fortnight of the period of cold weather.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it paid out almost £100million in Cold Weather Payments last year between November 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
How can I check if my area is cold enough for Cold Weather Payment?
DWP has created an online checker where you can enter your postcode and check whether your area dropped to cold enough temperatures for Cold Weather Payments.
Just enter your postcode in the online checker – found here – and it should tell you if you can access Cold Weather Payments.
You will also have to be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment, meaning you receive some form of benefits or income support as well as other criteria.
If you’re eligible for Cold Weather Payment you should be paid automatically, without having to apply.
If your money does not arrive, you can contact JobCentre Plus or the Pension Service, or if you’re a claimant of Universal Credit, try calling their helpline.
Who is eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment?
People who are already entitled to benefits are often able to claim a Cold Weather Payment.
You may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you receive:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
But each of these categories comes with their own conditions, explained here.
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You should receive Cold Weather Payment if you get Universal Credit, as long as you’re not employed or self-employed.
To qualify for Cold Weather Payment while receiving Universal Credit, you need to also have:
- A health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
- A child under five living with you
Support for Mortgage Interest
If you receive Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), you should be entitled to Cold Weather Payment if any of the following conditions also apply to you:
- You have a severe or enhanced disability premium
- You receive a pensioner premium
- You have a child who is disabled
- You receive Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- You have a child under five living with you