Heating your home during the winter months can cost a lot of money. No one wants to be cold, however, so turning on the dial is what you usually would.
But what if this year you find it too expensive to heat your home? You just can’t afford, for example, to turn on the heater because of soaring gas prices and inflation.
Fortunately, there are government programs that can help, but these are only for a small group of people.
Read more: What is a cold weather payment? Money you could get to help during the winter
There’s the winter fuel allowance, but that’s mostly for those over the state’s retirement age, and there’s the cold weather payment.
But what are cold weather payments, what are the eligibility criteria, and how do I check if my postcode is due in cash? Here is what we know.
What are cold weather payments, who is eligible for cold weather payment, and how do I check if my zip code is due?
You get a cold weather payment if you apply for certain social security benefits, such as universal credit, income support, or income-based jobseeker’s allowance.
You get Â£ 25 for every seven day period when the mercury reaches or below freezing point.
The temperature must be predicted or effectively falling to zero degrees Celsius or below consecutively for at least a full week before a cash payment is made.
The Department of Work and Pensions will use data from a weather station near you or in your area to find out what the local conditions are for you. They will then trigger payment in cold weather if the temperature is low enough.
You can find out if you are owed money under the Cold Weather Payment Program by checking local conditions and entering your zip code on government site .
Make sure to check between the dates of November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, as this is when the program runs.
If you find that you are not eligible for cold weather payment or need additional assistance, there are a number of other winter programs that offer financial assistance.
These include the new Household support fund and the Warm Home Discount program .
You can access the former by going to your town hall and payment will be made at the discretion of the authority, while in the latter you will usually need to contact your energy supplier to see if you can reduce your bill by Â£ 140 .