Cold weather has gripped the UK recently, with temperatures plummeting this winter, and snow forecasted in some areas of the country. However, colder weather often involves higher costs for many people who are trying to keep warm at home. As a result, the government is issuing Cold Weather Payments to certain individuals to help during a cold snap.
It is, though, important for Britons to understand whether they can unlock a payment and how much they are set to receive.
People will receive a Cold Weather Payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
Those who are eligible will receive £25 for each seven day period of this type of weather between November 1 and March 31.
The payments differ to Winter Fuel Payments, and do not affect a person’s entitlement to other benefits.
However, only certain people will be able to receive the sum, even if they are living in one of the affected areas.
A person must be in receipt of one of the following benefits in order to receive Cold Weather Payments:
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support for Mortgage Interest
While payments are usually made automatically, some Britons may need to take action to ensure they receive the sum to which they are entitled.
For example, people who receive payments like Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance and either have had a baby or a child under five has come to live with them, should tell Jobcentre Plus in order to receive their payment.
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After each period of cold weather, a payment will then be issued to those who are eligible.
The sum should appear in a person’s bank or building society account within 14 working days.
This will be the same account as a person receives their benefit payments into.
However, there is also a way for Britons to check themselves if a payment is due in their area, rather than simply waiting on the matter.
The government has developed a Cold Weather Payment postcode checker to assist people.
Accessible through the government’s official website, people can enter the first part of their postcode to find out more.
For example, if a postcode is LS1 1AG, then people should only enter LS1 to determine if their area is affected.
Entering the postcode AB35, for instance, will show that one cold weather payment has been due so far.
The DWP will use local weather stations to determine the temperature in the area, and these details will also be outlined in the report.
On New Year’s Eve, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), confirmed to Express.co.uk that payments in certain areas had been triggered.
Baroness Stedman Scott, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DWP, commented on the matter.
She said: “Keeping warm throughout the winter is hugely important to staying healthy, which is why we pay to help heat homes when there’s a sustained cold snap.
“As well as Cold Weather Payments, we also run the Warm Home Discount Scheme, and Winter Fuel Payments, so we have a number of schemes in place to help.”