Cold weather payments

Get £25 during freezing weather

With the cold weather payment, you can get £25 to help with heating bills for each seven-day period of freezing weather during winter. We've full info below on who can get it, how to apply, and how to check if you're due a payment. 

What is the cold weather payment?

The cold weather payment is a grant paid by the Government to older people and those on certain benefits in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to help pay for heating costs when temperatures hit zero or below in your area. If you live in Scotland, there's a similar, separate scheme.

If you're eligible, you'll get £25 each time the average temperature in your area is – or is forecast to be – 0°C or below for seven days in a row between 1 November and 31 March.

The cold weather payment has been triggered in 373 postcodes so far this winter. If you're eligible, you should receive £25 in your bank account automatically within 14 working days. You can check if you're due the payment using the Government's postcode checker (if you're in Northern Ireland, you'll need to use this postcode checker).

Who's eligible for cold weather payments?

 

You'll usually get the payments if you receive:

  • Pension Credit. Though only if you don't live in a care home.
  • Income Support and income-based jobseeker's allowance. You'll qualify if you have a disability or pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, get Child Tax Credits that include a disability or severe disability element, or you have a child under five living with you.

  • Income-related employment and support allowance. You'll be eligible if you have a severe or enhanced disability premium, a pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, get Child Tax Credits that include a disability or severe disability element, or you have a child under five living with you.

  • Universal Credit. You'll be eligible if you have a health condition or disability and have a 'limited capability for work', or you have a child under five living with you.

  • Support for mortgage interest (SMI). You'll be eligible if you get SMI and also have a severe or enhanced disability premium, a pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, get Child Tax Credits that include a disability or severe disability element, or you have a child under five living with you.

See full cold weather payment eligibility criteria.

In Scotland, you'll get a £55 winter heating payment

If you live in Scotland, the cold weather payment has been replaced by the winter heating payment. Instead of a payment based on weather conditions, all eligible households will get a flat £55.05 each year to help with heating bills.

Eligibility is exactly the same as the cold weather payment scheme, but you'll need to be receiving an eligible benefit during the 'qualifying week'. For 2023/24, the qualifying week is between 6 and 12 November. See full winter heating payment eligibility criteria.

The Scottish Government makes payments to eligible households throughout December and January. The payment will be made into the same bank account you receive your qualifying benefit into, and will have a reference that includes 'WHP'. You'll receive a letter from Social Security Scotland before it makes the payment.

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You don't need to claim cold weather payments

You don't need to do anything to get the payments – if you're eligible you should be paid automatically for any seven-day period of freezing weather.

You should get the money within 14 working days of each cold weather period, and it will be paid into the same bank or building society as your benefit or pension payments (except in Scotland where it's paid in December and January as a flat £55.05 lump sum).

Cold weather payments checker – find out if you're due a payment

If you're not sure whether the temperature has met the threshold where you live, the Government has a handy online postcode checker.

All you need to do is enter the first part of your postcode, and it will let you know if any payments are due in your area.

Not got your payment?

If you've not got your cold weather payment, but think you're eligible, let your local pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office know. They can check and sort it out for you.

If you're on Universal Credit, you can sign in to your online account and add a note to your journal, or give the Universal Credit helpline a call on 0800 328 5644.

Other grants and ways to cut your energy bill

We've a host of MoneySaving tips to help you pay less for energy...

  • Pay energy bills by direct debit, if you can. Fixed monthly direct debit payments – where you pay a fixed estimate each month – could save you 5% to 10% compared with paying every quarter. See Energy direct debits help for more info.
  • Check if you're due up the winter fuel payment. This is an annual grant to help older people, and those on certain benefits, pay their heating bills. It offers a one-off, tax-free payment to help with the cost of energy. It'll be paid automatically in November or December to those eligible.

    To see if you qualify and how much you could get, see our full winter fuel payment help.
  • Or see if you qualify for the warm home discount. This offers a £150 rebate on electricity bills each year between October and March, for those on Pension Credit and certain other benefits. To see if you should or could get it, see our full info on the warm home discount.
  • Check if you can get a free boiler or insulation. There are wads of freebies or grants from energy providers, from help with new boiler costs to free loft and cavity wall insulation. It's all part of their efficiency obligations to people in certain groups. It's mainly for those receiving certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit or income-based benefits, but some households can get free insulation if they live in an energy-inefficient home in a certain council tax band.

    See the full Great British Insulation Scheme guide for more.

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