The Cold Weather Payment scheme is intended to help individuals as the winter draws in and the temperatures decrease. The weather often means people will spend more money on keeping warm, and the scheme will mediate this somewhat. With a Cold Weather Payment, eligible Britons will receive a sum if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over a period of seven consecutive days. For every seven day period of this type of weather which is recorded, individuals can expect to receive a payment from the Government which is worth £25 – something which can quickly rack up for those in especially cold areas.
The new scheme is just around the corner, and is set to run from November 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. This means Britons are just a month away from potentially having a payment triggered for their local area.
Cold Weather Payments differ when compared to other schemes offered by the Government such as the Warm Home Discount or the Winter Fuel Payment. These can be pursued separately, and some may be eligible for more than one form of support.
After each period of very cold weather which is recorded in an area, individuals can expect to receive the payment to which they are entitled within a 14 working day period.
Cold Weather Payments are issued into the same bank or building society account as a person typically receives their benefits or other payments from the Government.
However, the sum will not impact other benefits someone receives, and thus individuals can claim without fear of their finances being adversely impacted in this way.
Understandably, though, there are a series of eligibility rules which are worth Britons bearing in mind. Doing so will mean individuals do not end up disappointed if they otherwise presume they are qualified to receive a Cold Weather Payment.
Individuals could be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if they are in receipt of the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
Those on Pension Credit will usually receive their Cold Weather Payment, but for the other benefits there are important rules which apply to the situation.
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For Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, people can receive the sum if they have a disability or pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, a child under five living with them, or are in receipt of Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element.
People in receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will usually get a Cold Weather Payment if they are in a work-related activity or support group, however, if they are not, then similar rules about eligibility are applicable here as shared with Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
This is also the case for those who receive Support for Mortgage Interest, a scheme which is designed to provide support to homeowners on their interest payments.
Finally, for Universal Credit recipients, a Cold Weather Payment will be issued if someone is not employed or self-employed. One of the following must also apply:
- A person has a health condition or disability with a limited capability for work, with or without work-related activity
- A person has a child under five living with them
- A person has a disabled child amount in their claim, whether they are employed or not
Once a person has determined whether or not they are eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment, many will want to know if they need to take any action in order to get their hands on the sum.
Thankfully, there is no need for individuals to apply for the Cold Weather Payment scheme. Those who are meant to get the payments will be paid automatically by the Government when the temperature triggers are met in their area.
However, if someone does not receive a Cold Weather Payment and does believe themselves to be eligible, they will need to take action at this point in time to remedy the issue.
The Government states: “Tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus if you think you should have received a Cold Weather Payment but you have not.
“If you are getting Universal Credit, sign in to your account and add a note to your journal. If you do not have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead. The phone number is on letters about your Universal Credit claim.”
If someone has a baby, or a child under five comes to live with then, they will need to inform the Jobcentre Plus if they are in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, otherwise they will not automatically receive a Cold Weather Payment.
Finally, the Government advises, any stays in hospital should be reported to the appropriate service, whether that be the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.
Those in receipt of Universal Credit will need to sign into their account and note this in their journal, or ring the Universal Credit helpline instead.
A hospital visit could affect the payment a person can receive, and thus it is vital to share this information as soon as possible.