Cold weather payment: How to check your eligibility?

WWith the onset of winter this can be a particularly expensive time of year for many people, especially with the rising cost of energy, so if you are eligible for the Cold weather payment, you won’t want to miss it.

Even if it’s only a small amount, it could help ease your financial worries this winter, so it’s worth taking the time to educate yourself on what it is and who is entitled to it.

What is cold weather payment?

The Cold Weather Payment is a UK government grant designed to help people with low incomes, or who receive certain types of benefits, to pay their energy bills in extremely cold weather.

Payment is 25 pounds for each period of seven consecutive days the temperature is below – or should be below – zero degrees Celsius. This applies from November 1 to March 31.

Who is eligible for cold weather payment?

You may be eligible for these payments if you receive any of the following:

  • Pension credit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Employment allowance and income support
  • Universal Credit
  • Assumption of mortgage interest

If you are not sure, you will find all the eligibility details here on the UK government website.

How can I get payment in cold weather?

The good news is, you don’t have to do anything to receive your payment while you’re eligible. Eligible persons will receive their payments automatically from Department of Work and Pensions.

If you have any doubts or if you haven’t received your payment and think you should, again, check out the GOV.UK website.

What is the difference between the cold weather payment and the winter fuel payment?

You may have also heard of the Winter fuel payment, which works slightly differently and has a different set of criteria, although it also aims to ease the burden of cold weather energy payments.

The Winter Fuel Payment for 2021 is open to people born on or before September 26, 1955, and who lived in the UK for at least one day between September 20 and September 26. The amount will depend on your situation, ranging from 100 to 300 pounds.

Some people will receive it automatically, but anyone meeting the above criteria can request it. And if you received it once, you don’t need to reapply in the future.

So the winter fuel payment is age related and not temperature dependent, while the cold weather payment is determined by your situation and available during periods of consistently low temperatures.

When will I receive my cold weather payment?

After a period of seven consecutive days of subzero weather conditions, you should receive your 25 pounds within 14 business days.

Another difference with the Winter Fuel Payment is that it is paid as a lump sum, in November or December.

Be sure to check your eligibility for both this winter and make a claim if necessary, although in the case of the cold weather payment it shouldn’t be necessary.

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