State pension: Some claimants may qualify for Cold Weather Payments which start from next

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State pension receivers, along with other state benefit claimants, may qualify for CWP during particularly cold periods of the year. For those who are on a particularly low income in retirement, pension credit can boost their payments and ensure CWP is awarded where necessary.

Pension credit is made up of two elements, guarantee credit and savings credit.

Most people will only receive guarantee credit going forward as savings credit can only be received by those who reached state pension age before April 6 2016.

State pensioners will be eligible for guarantee credit if their weekly income falls below £173.75 for single people or £265.20 for couples.

If income does fall below this, the guarantee credit payments will top them up until they reach those levels.

So long as a person qualifies for guarantee credit, they’ll also qualify for CWPs.

Cold Weather Payments are awarded when average temperatures in the claimants area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.

This can only happen between certain dates of the year and it starts from November 1 and lasts until March 31 2021.

Where it is awarded, claimants will receive £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather.

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After the period of very cold weather has ended, the payments should arrive within 14 working days.

They’ll be paid into the same bank account the claimant receives their benefit payments.

Eligible claimants will not need to apply for the payments as they should be paid automatically.

If they’re not received, eligible receivers should contact their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus Office.

It should also be noted hospital stays can also impact a person’s eligibility, which could be an issue with the current pandemic.

Cold Weather Payments are differed from Winter Fuel Payments, which can be claimed by anyone born on or before October 5 1954.

Winter Fuel Payments can provide claimants with between £100 and £300 to help with heating bills.

To be eligible for these payments, both of the following need to apply:

  • The claimant was born on or before October 5 1954
  • They lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 – known as the “qualifying week”

Just as is the case with CWP, Winter Fuel Payment’s will not need to be claimed for, they should be paid automatically for eligible recipients.

However, for those who have not had Winter Fuel payment’s previously, they may need to make a claim if any of the following apply:

  • They do not get benefits or a State Pension
  • They only get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit
  • They get benefits or a State Pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country

If claiming is required, a person will be able to do so by phone or post.

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