Cold Weather Payment warning as some Britons may not be eligible – how you can check

Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme

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A Cold Weather Payment is issued every winter, with the scheme running from November 1 to March 31. Under the programme, people will get a payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days. Individuals will get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather in this time.

A Cold Weather Payment should be issued within 14 working days after each period of very cold weather. 

However, while those receiving certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest can often benefit, there are specific rules to bear in mind in terms of eligibility.

Those in receipt of Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance must also fulfil other criteria.

They will also need to have any of the following:

  • A disability or pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit including a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under five living with them

For people in receipt of Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) there are also rules to bear in mind.

The Government explains: “You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get income-related ESA and are in a work-related activity group or support group. If you’re not in either group, you might also get Cold Weather Payments.”

However, once again, this is only if a person has any of the following: 

  • A severe or enhanced disability premium
  • A pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit including a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under five living with them

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This criteria is also in place for those who get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

When it comes to Universal Credit and Cold Weather Payments, the sum is made available to those who are not employed or self-employed.

Individuals must also either have a health condition or disability with a limited capability for work, or have a child under five living with them.

The Government has confirmed Universal Credit claimants are also eligible if they have a disabled child amount in the claim, whether the person is employed or not. 

Those who are in receipt of Pension Credit can expect to receive a Cold Weather Payment, with no other criteria seemingly applicable.

People eligible for a Cold Weather Payment do not usually need to apply.

This is because they should get the payment issued to them automatically.

However, if they do not receive a Cold Weather Payment and think they should, they will need to act.

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Individuals will need to contact the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus in this circumstance.

If a person is in receipt of Universal Credit, then they can sign into their account and add a note to their journal.

Those who are not set up online can alternatively ring the Universal Credit helpline.

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