Cold Weather Payment: Cash you could receive this winter

You may have already heard about the Winter Fuel Allowance – which is a welfare benefit for those aged 66 and over to help with their heating costs, but have you heard of Cold Weather Payments?

The two are actually different and you could qualify to get cash from both the Winter Fuel Allowance and Cold Weather Payment schemes.

You may be already receiving both amounts of cash. But the latter is paid out when the temperature reaches a certain degree throughout the winter period.

So, you’re probably now wondering what temperature it needs to be for the Government to pay you some money. So, we’ll answer that as well as what Cold Weather Payments are. Here’s what we know:

What is a Cold Weather Payment?

Cold Weather Payments are extra cash given to people on certain benefits which has been in place since 1986.

For much of that time, the cash paid out amounted to £8.50 a week, but in 2008 the previous Labour Government substantially increased the benefit to £25 a week.

It has remained at that rate until the present day, with this year’s scheme beginning on Monday, November 1.

In order for the payments to be activated, however, it must fulfil the criteria. That means the temperature must be forecast to, or has already, fallen to zero degrees Celsius or below for seven days in a row.

When that happens, between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, the eligible individual will receive the money for each seven day period.

Read more: All the financial support you can get from the Government this winter

The Government knows when a payment is due when they are notified of the temperatures by the Meteorological Office. They have a number of weather stations that work over a series of postcode areas and are monitored by the Meteorological Office. The Government uses the data, such as home address and postcode locations, it collects to establish whether a claimant should receive a Cold Weather Payment.

Those eligible for a Cold Weather Payment are people on Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest.

If you’re on Pension Credit, you should receive the money without having to do anything or notifying anyone.

If you’re on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will get the payment if you’re on that benefit and have one of the following: a pensioner or disability premium, a child who has a disability, you also claim Child Tax Credit and that also encompasses a disability, or you have a child who’s under the age of five and is living with you.

If you’re on income-related Employment and Support Allowance you can get the benefit if any of the following apply: you’re in a support group that has work-related activities at its focus, you get the disability or pensioner enhanced premium, you have a child who is disabled, you get Child Tax Credit which also encompasses a disability, or you have a child who’s aged less than five living with you.

For those claiming Universal Credit, you will get a Cold Weather Payment provided you’re not working or self-employed and you either have a disability or medical condition, or you have a child who’s aged under five years old living with you. You’ll also be eligible for the money if you have a child who has a disability and that’s part of your Universal Credit claim. For this criteria, you do not need to be working.

Read more: What is the Winter Fuel Allowance? Payment given to millions you could be eligible for

If you get Support for Mortgage Interest, you’ll qualify for a Cold Weather Payment if you claim that and any of the following apply: you get a pension premium, you have a severe or enhanced disability premium, you have a child who has a disability, you claim Child Tax Credit, including the disability part of that benefit or you have a child who’s aged less than five living with you.

You should receive your Cold Weather Payment automatically, but contact the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus if you believe you should have received this benefit but have not. If you’re on Universal Credit, contact the Universal Credit helpline.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.

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