What is a Cold Weather Payment? Money you could get to help through the winter

You may have heard of Winter Fuel Allowance – a benefit for those aged 66 and over to help them with their heating bills, but have you heard of Cold Weather Payments?

The two are actually different, and you can qualify to receive cash from both the Winter Fuel Allowance and Cold Weather Payment programs.

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

You are now probably wondering how warm it must be for the government to pay you some money. So we’re going to answer that and also what cold weather payments are. Here’s what we know:

What is a cold weather payment?

Cold weather payments are additional money given to individuals with certain benefits that have been in effect since 1986.

For much of that time, payouts stood at £ 8.50 per week, but in 2008 the previous Labor government increased the benefit significantly to £ 25 per week.

It has stayed at this level to this day, with this year’s program starting on Monday November 1st.

However, in order for the payments to be activated, it must meet the criteria. This means that the temperature must be predicted to zero degrees Celsius or below or has already fallen for seven days in a row.

In this case, the eligible person will receive the money for any seven-day period between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

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

The government knows when a payment is due when it is informed of the temperatures by the weather bureau. They have a number of weather stations that operate over a number of postcode areas and are monitored by the weather department. The government uses the information it collects, such as home address and zip code, to determine whether an applicant should receive a cold weather payment.

Cold Weather Payment is available to people on pension credit, income support, income-related unemployment benefit, income-related employment and support allowance, universal credit, or mortgage support.

If you have an annuity loan, you should get the money without doing anything or notifying anyone.

If you receive income support or income-related unemployment benefit, you will receive the payment if you receive this benefit and you have one of the following benefits: a pensioner or disability allowance, a disabled child, you also apply for child tax credit and that includes or you have a disability a child under the age of five who lives with you.

If you receive earnings-related employment and support allowance, you can receive the benefit if one of the following conditions applies: you are in a self-help group with work-related activities, you receive the disability or pensioner allowance, you have a disabled child, you receive a child allowance, which also includes a disability, or you have a child under the age of five living with you.

For those who apply for a universal loan, you will receive a cold weather payment, provided you are not employed or self-employed and either have a disability or illness, or you have a child under five living with you. You are also entitled to the money if you have a child with a disability and this is part of your universal credit. You don’t have to work for these criteria.

Read more: What is the winter fuel allowance? A payment in the millions that you might be entitled to

If you are receiving mortgage support, you are eligible for a cold weather payment if you claim it and any of the following conditions are true: you are receiving a pension, you have a severe or increased disability premium, you have a child with a disability, you apply child tax deduction, including the disability component of this benefit, or you have a child under five living with you.

You should receive your cold weather payment automatically, but contact Pension Service or Jobcenter Plus if you think you should have received this benefit but you didn’t. If you have Universal Credit, contact the Universal Credit Helpline.

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