December and January has already seen snow in some parts of the UK, and with the news that there will be another Beast from the East, things are about to get even colder.
As temperatures drop, many are forced to turn their thermostat up – or put their heating on more often than usual – but not everyone has enough money to afford it.
Due to the unforeseen circumstances of 2020, many individuals across the UK have experienced financial hardship and people have lost their jobs and regular income.
The Department for Work and Pensions has a Cold Weather Payment scheme designed to help vulnerable households during this period of very cold weather.
Who is eligible for Cold Weather Payment?
Those who are already receiving support from the government, may be eligible for the additional Cold Weather Payments.
If you get Pension Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) , you should automatically qualify.
If you receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance , you will get the payment only if you also have one of the following:
- a disability or pension premium
- a child who is disabled
- a child under five in your household
- Child Tax Credit that includes a disability element
You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit and you’re not employed or self-employed. One of the following must also apply:
- you have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
- you have a child under 5 living with you
You’ll also be eligible if you have a disabled child amount in your claim, whether you’re employed or not.
How cold does it have to be?
In order to receive a Cold Weather Payment, the average temperature in your area needs to be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.
How much is a Cold Weather Payment?
If eligible, you’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days.
It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments.
How to claim for a Cold Weather Payment?
You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.
However, if your circumstance do change then you can apply.
For example, if you have a baby or a child under 5 comes to live with you.
Tell Jobcentre Plus if you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance and:
- you’ve had a baby
- a child under 5 has come to live with you
You will not automatically get Cold Weather Payments if you do not.
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