Cold Weather Payment: 705,000 payments made so far this season – are you eligible?
Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme
From snow and ice to harsh winds, the cooler temperatures of the winter mean it’s often essential to turn to central heating systems during this time of year. When the weather is extremely cold, some may be able to get an additional forms of support.
This is known as the Cold Weather Payment, and it’s a £25 payment which people getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest can receive.
To get it, the average temperature in the local area needs to be recorded as or forecast to be zero degrees celsius or below over seven days in a row.
Eligible people who live in a triggered area will then get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
The money is usually paid automatically into the bank or building society of the eligible recipient in which they get their benefit payments.
Rest assured though that Cold Weather Payments do not affect other benefits.
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It’s possible to check whether a payment is due online.
This can be done via the Cold Weather Payment postcode checker on the GOV.UK website.
Users need to input the first part of their postcode in order to see if any payments are due, or have been due, this season.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has also been releasing details of postcodes where there have been triggers throughout the winter.
There have been a number of triggers this winter, and new figures released today show the number of people who have now qualified for a payment this winter.
Data released today show between November 1, 2020 and January 29, 2021, there has been 58 triggers across England, Scotland and Wales.
The total number of eligible recipients across these three nations is an estimated 3,609,000 – 1,431,000 of which are estimated to be receiving Pension Credit.
In total, the number of payments made during this period is 705,000.
Among them are 276,000 eligible Pension Credit recipients.
In the 2020 to 2021 Cold Weather Payment scheme, 95 weather stations have been used.
The DWP has also explained how the triggers and Cold Weather Payments are determined.
In the Background and methodology: Cold Weather Payment estimates for the official statistics, it explains that during the period of November 1 to March 31, the daily average temperatures are measured by the Met Office at a network of 95 weather stations across Great Britain.
Each residential postcode area in Britain is linked to one of the weather stations.
Should the weather station record or forecast the average temporary to be zero degrees Celsius or below over seven days in a row, then the £25 payment will be automatically made to those eligible within the coverage of the area.
The methodology states: “The scheme links postcode districts to weather stations that report to the Met Office on a daily basis.
“The Met Office takes account of topography, the extent of built-up areas and the distance from available weather stations.
“Each postcode district is assigned to a weather station with the most similar climate in terms of 1981-2010 average winter temperature.”
Who is eligible for a Cold Weather Payment?
It may be a person is eligible if they get:
- Universal Credit – if they are not employed or self-employed
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
Additionally, they must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Be in receipt of a disability or pension premium
- Have a child under five living with them
- Be in receipt of Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- Have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work.
- Be in the work-related activity group or support group
- Have a severe or enhanced disability premium
- Have a disabled child in the household – if the person is receiving Universal Credit then they will receive a CWP where this applies, whether they are working or not.
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