Cold Weather Payment checker: How to find out if you are owed one

Payouts made to vulnerable people, including pensioners, in England and Wales to help them pay for heating in periods of extreme winter temperatures

Ted Hennessey
Wednesday 15 March 2023 10:14 GMT

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The freezing weather the UK has experienced this week, which has seen Scotland and norther and central England blasted with snow and forecasters warning of “blizzard conditions” to come, means some households could become eligible for Cold Weather Payments – but what are they and who can receive one?

Here, we answer some of the key questions about them.

What is a cold weather payment?

Cold weather payments are made to vulnerable people, including pensioners, in England and Wales to help them pay for heating when the temperature dips below freezing.

Who can get one?

It goes to those living in an area where the average temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days.

How can I check if my area is eligible?

People can visit the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s Cold Weather Payments webpage to check.

Who is eligible?

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re receiving:

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

How much can you get?

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

How can you get one?

Those eligible do not need to apply, it will be paid automatically.

When do you get paid?

The bank top-up will be in eligible people’s bank account within 14 days of the trigger.

Does this affect my benefits?

Cold Weather Payments do not affect other benefits.

What if I am in hospital?

Those in hospital should tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus as this could affect their payment.

What if I live in Scotland?

Scots cannot get the payment.

In Scotland, people on benefits or low incomes may qualify for an annual £50 winter heating payment, though this is made irrespective of cold temperatures.

What if I do not receive my payment?

People are advised to tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.

Those getting Universal Credit should sign in to their account and add a note to the journal.

How do I challenge a cold weather payment decision?

According to charity Turn2us, the DWP’s decision on a person’s payment claim can be challenged.

If the decision remains they can appeal to an independent tribunal.

It says the time limits are strict, with a one month window to dispute a decision

What other payments can I get?

If a person was born before 26 September 1956 and are eligible they could get between £250 and £600 to help pay their heating bills.

There is also the Warm Home Discount Scheme, in which a person gets £150 off their electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023.

What has the DWP said?

A spokesman said: “These additional payments provide support every year to help people experiencing the coldest weather.

“Cold weather payments can be triggered right through to the end of March, giving people facing disproportionately cold weather that extra reassurance over the chillier months.”

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