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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cold Weather Payment

During a very cold winter, the costs of heating can quickly add up. If you're receiving certain benefits, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment for each period of very cold weather in your area. Find out whether you could qualify for help this winter.

What are Cold Weather Payments?

You don't need to apply - if you can get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically

Cold Weather Payments help people, who get certain income-related benefits, with their increased heating costs caused by periods of very cold weather during winter.

A period of very cold weather is when the temperature is either:

  • recorded as an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days in a row
  • forecast to be an average zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days in a row

How the Cold Weather Payments scheme works

The Cold Weather Payments scheme runs every winter from 1 November and 31 March.

A network of weather stations gathers temperature information. This is used to see whether there has been a ‘period of very cold weather’ in any postcode area.

When there is a period of very cold weather in your postcode area, a Cold Weather Payment is made to eligible people who live there.

When there hasn’t been a period of very cold weather in your postcode area, a Cold Weather Payment will not be paid.

People who live near to each other but in different postcode areas might get Cold Weather payments at different times.

How to find out if Cold Weather Payments have been made in your postcode area

You can find out if a Cold Weather Payment has been made in your postcode area by using the Postcode Search.

Find out if your area has received payment


You can use the postcode search to find out if your area has received a Cold Weather Payment

Winter Fuel Payments

Winter Fuel Payments are different from Cold Weather Payments. Winter Fuel Payments are yearly one-off payments to help eligible people pay for their heating in the winter.

Winter Fuel Payments are paid to men and women who have reached the minimum age at which a woman can receive a state pension. They are not linked to temperature. This is different to Cold Weather Payments, which eligible people may get for each period of very cold weather in their postcode area.

Who can get Cold Weather Payments?

When there has been a period of very cold weather during the winter, you can get a Cold Weather Payment if you receive one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Pension Credit

If you get Pension Credit, you will usually receive Cold Weather Payments.

Income Support and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

If you receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you will get Cold Weather Payments if you also have any of the following:

  • a disability or pensioner premium included in your benefit
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • a child under five living with you

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you get Income-related ESA, you will usually receive Cold Weather Payments if you also have any of the following:

  • the support or work-related component of ESA
  • a severe or enhanced disability premium included in your benefit
  • a pensioner premium included in your benefit
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • a child under five living with you

If you have a child under five living with you

If you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance you will need to tell Jobcentre Plus when:

  • you have had a baby
  • a child under five has come to live with you

If you don’t, you won’t automatically get any Cold Weather Payments that you may be due.

How much do you get?

You will get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

How to apply

You don't need to apply. If you can get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.

How Cold Weather Payments are paid

Cold Weather Payments are paid automatically into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account. This is the safest, most convenient and efficient method of payment.

When will I get my Cold Weather Payment?

Your Cold Weather Payment should be in your account within 14 working days after each period of very cold weather in your postcode area.

If you think you should have had a Cold Weather Payment

If you think you should have had a Cold Weather Payment but haven’t received one, use the Postcode Search to check if payments have been made for your postcode area.

If you still think you should have had a Cold Weather Payment, tell your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus.

Effect on other benefits

Cold Weather Payments will not affect other benefits you are getting.

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