Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme
The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from November 1 to March 31, meaning there’s just over two months until this winter’s scheme ends. During this period, if the average temperature in the area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or before for seven days in a row, a payment is triggered.
This means all eligible people who live in the triggered area can get £25 for each seven day period of the very cold weather (between November 1 and March 31).
It is paid automatically, meaning those who qualify shouldn’t need to do anything.
The money should be paid within 14 working days after each period of the very cold weather in the triggered area.
Thankfully for claimants, Cold Weather Payments will not affect their other benefits.
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It may be a person who gets any of the following benefits is eligible:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
That said, not everyone who is on this list will qualify.
GOV.UK explains more in terms of each specific benefit – including whether there’s further criteria to meet.
And this is something which Universal Credit claimants who are either in employment or self-employment may have noted.
It states: “You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit and you’re not employed or self-employed.”
Additionally, for Universal Credit claimants to be eligible, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- They have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
- They have a child under five living with them.
Whether a person is employed or not, if they have a disabled child amount in their claim, then they will be eligible.
While Cold Weather Payments are usually paid automatically to those eligible, there may be an instance when action needs to be taken.
This is if a person on certain benefits has a baby or a child under the age of five comes to live with them.
Government guidance explains: “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 five has come to live with you.
“You will not automatically get Cold Weather Payments if you do not.”
In the event a person thinks they should have received a Cold Weather Payment but have not got it, they are directed to tell their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office.
People who get Universal Credit are directed to sign into their account and add a note to their journal instead.
Claimants who don’t have an online account should instead ring the Universal Credit helpline.
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