Covering heating costs can be a difficult challenge in the wintertime, especially for those already struggling to make ends meet. In an effort to help people to keep warm during periods of very cold weather, some people may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment.
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Under this scheme, run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), eligible people get a payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven days in a row.
The amount a person could get under the scheme is £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather.
The scheme runs between November 1 and March 31.
This means that the current scheme for 2019 to 2020 will run until March 31, 2020.
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Universal Credit claimants may be among those eligible for the Cold Weather Payment scheme (Image: GETTY)
Therefore, if the temperatures in the area drop, or are predicted to do so, and fulfil the requirements this month, eligible people could get the payment.
However, as the scheme does not run into April, the payment would no longer qualify once March ends – that is, until the scheme begins running again.
Should a Cold Weather Payment be triggered in the area, after each period of the very cold weather, the eligible individual should get the payment within 14 working days.
This is paid into the same bank or building society account as the recipient’s benefit payments.
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The government website states that Cold Weather Payments do not affect a person’s other benefits.
Who is eligible for the Cold Weather Payment?
The DWP explains that in order to be eligible for the payment, a person must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
Universal Credit – if they are not employed or self-employedIncome SupportIncome-based Jobseeker’s AllowanceIncome-related Employment and Support AllowancePension CreditSupport for Mortgage Interest
Universal Credit claimants may be able to get the Cold Weather Payment if it’s triggered in the area (Image: GETTY)
Cold Weather Payment: 5,000 payments made so far this season
Additionally, the individual must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Be in receipt of a disability or pension premiumHave a child under five living with themBe in receipt of Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability elementHave a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work.Be in the work-related activity group or support groupHave a severe or enhanced disability premium.Have a disabled child in the household – if they are receiving Universal Credit they will receive a CWP where this applies, whether they are working or not.
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From the beginning of the 2019 to 2020 scheme to February 7, 2020, an estimated 5,000 payments have been made following triggers.
Of these, an estimated 3,000 are to Pension Credit recipients.
It’s possible to check to see whether a certain area could be due a Cold Weather Payment via Gov.uk’s postcode checker service.
So far this season only Scotland has seen weather cold enough to trigger Cold Weather Payments.