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How to check if you can get the cold weather payment this year

Cold weather payment 2022: What is it? How can I check if I’m eligible for winter support? Do I automatically qualify if I’m on Universal Credit? When would I receive a payment?

  • Freezing -10C temperatures start this week as ‘Troll of Trondheim’ batters the UK
  • As the cost of living crisis hits wallets many will dread turning the heating on
  • The government are providing cold weather payments for those on benefits
  • It sees £25 paid to some on benefits for every week of sub-zero temperature

Cold weather has begun to take its grip in the UK as temperatures today plunged to a freezing -10C as Arctic snap dubbed the ‘Troll of Trondheim’ batters the country.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning across swathes of the country as Britons brace themselves for freezing temperatures for up to a whole week.

As the cost of living crisis is already causing financial hardship for many, some will be fearing that the forthcoming cold weather could force them to turn on the central heating.

The cost of energy has doubled on average in just a year, even after the energy price cap was frozen at £2,500 a year for a typical household, leaving many worried they will not be able to heat their homes as it gets colder this winter.

But some Britons are eligible for cold weather payments – a form of government support that was reintroduced on November 1 and runs until the end of March 2023.

Cold weather has begun to take its grip in the UK as temperatures today plunged to a freezing -10C as Arctic snap dubbed the ‘Troll of Trondheim’ batters the country. Pictured: A workman clears snow from the pavements in Tomintoul, Scotland today

The cost of energy has doubled on average in just a year, even after the energy price cap was frozen at £2,500 a year for a typical household, leaving many worried they will not be able to heat their homes as it gets colder this winter (file photo)

The cold weather payment is a energy costs support scheme available to those on some benefits or mortgage interests support schemes.

Those who are eligible will get a payment if the average temperature in the local area is recorded as or forecast to be below 0C for a week running. 

The payment is worth £25 for each consecutive seven-day period of sub-zero weather between November 1 and March 31.

Cold weather payments are separate to Winter Fuel Payments.

The scheme is not available in Scotland but you might get an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment instead regardless of weather conditions in your area.

How can I check if I’m eligible for winter support?

Cold weather payments are only paid if there are seven days of continuous sub-zero temperatures in your area.

If you enter the first part of your postcode on this government tool, it will say if there have been any qualifying periods of cold temperatures in your area – and therefore could be due a payment.

The government say you may be eligible for cold weather payments (following a spell of cold weather) if you receive one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit Support for Mortgage Interest

Most people on Pension Credit will receive the support.

If you receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance you will usually get cold weather payments if you have any of the following:

  • A disability or pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you

If you receive ESA you will will usually get the payments if you are in a work-related activity group or support group.

If you are not in either group, you might also get Cold Weather Payments if you have any of the following:

  • A severe or enhanced disability premium
  • A pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you

If you get Universal Credit and are not employed or self-employed you will receive the cold weather payment if one of the following 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 

The cold weather payment is a energy costs support scheme available to those on some benefits or mortgage interests support schemes (file photo of energy bills)

You will also be eligible if you have a disabled child amount in your claim, regardless of whether you are employed or not.

People will usually get cold weather payments if you are also paid Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and have any of the following:

  • A severe or enhanced disability premium
  • A pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you 

If you are on Universal Credit (or any other legacy benefits) you will not need to apply for the cold weather payment and it will be automatically paid if you are eligible.

If you are on get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance you will become eligible if you have had a baby or a child under five-years-old comes to live with you.

You should therefore tell Jobcentre Plus of this change as soon as possible otherwise you will not automatically get cold weather payments as they will be unaware you become eligible.

When would I receive my cold weather payment?

You should get a payment within 14 working days after after each period of very cold weather in your area, the government say.

The money is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefits payments.

If you do not receive the cold weather payment and think you should have you should tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.

If you are on Universal Credit you should sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

If you do not have an online account, the DWP say you should instead ring the Universal Credit helpline on: 0800 328 5644.

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