Cold weather payments triggered - can you get £25 towards your energy bills?
Cold weather payments worth £25 have been triggered in some parts of the UK after another cold snap. It's the third week the payments, which are designed to help households pay for energy bills when temperatures plummet, have been dished out this winter.
Residents of Shap in Cumbria and various areas of the Scottish Highlands are among those to receive cold weather payments last week, while the first payments date back to freezing weather immediately after Christmas. Here's how to find out if you're eligible.
What are cold weather payments?
People who get certain benefits or support for mortgage interest are eligible for cold weather payments (see below for more on this). Payments are made when the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
You get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021.
Who is eligible?
You may get cold weather payments if you’re getting:
- Pension credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Universal credit
- Support for mortgage interest
The exact criteria varies depending on what your situation is though, for example, you'll usually only get cold weather payments if you get Universal Credit and you’re not employed or self-employed. If you're on Universal Credit and out of work, one of the following must also apply:
- you have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work
- you have a child under five living with you
If you're on Universal Credit you’ll also be eligible if you have a disabled child in your claim, whether you’re employed or not.
You can read a full list of criteria for each benefit on Gov.uk.
How can I check if a payment is due?
You can check where payments have been triggered using the Government's postcode checker winter fuel payments tool.
Do I need to claim the money?
You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a cold weather payment, you’ll be paid it automatically within 14 working days into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
Tell your local pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office if you think you should have received a cold weather payment but you have not. If you’re getting Universal Credit, you can do this by signing into your account and adding a note to your online journal.