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. 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 to help pay for heating costs when temperatures hit zero and below in your area.
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.
This grant can help relieve some of the pressure of high winter energy bills. Of course, big savings are available by cutting costs. The best way is to switch energy supplier, as most can save more than £200/yr. Do a standard Cheap Energy Club comparison to see how much you can save, or if you find choosing confusing, our popular Pick Me A Tariff tools can help.
Important: The cold weather payment scheme for winter 2020/2021 has ended. The scheme will restart on 1 November 2021.
You'll usually get the payments if you get pension credit and do not live in a care home, or get support for mortgage interest.
You also may get it if you receive income support, jobseeker's allowance or universal credit. Whether you're eligible depends on your circumstances:
- Income support and income-based jobseeker's allowance. You'll be eligible if you have a disability or pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, get child tax credits that includes 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 includes 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.
See the full eligibility criteria.
It should be paid automatically – there's no need to claim
You don't need to 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 days of each cold weather period, and it will be paid into the same bank or building society as your benefit or pension payments.
If you're not sure whether the temperature has met the threshold, 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'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 9344 instead.
Other grants and ways to cut your energy bill
Switching your energy is the best way to cut your energy costs – especially if you're on a standard tariff, as most could save over £200/year switching to the cheapest energy deal.
Use our Cheap Energy Club to find your best deal. There's up to £25 cashback if you switch via Cheap Energy Club.
If you find switching confusing, we can help you through it with our new MSE Pick Me A Tariff tools. Simply tell us your preferences and we'll find your winner from the whole market – perfect for those unsure or nervous about switching.
It's the same gas, the same electricity and the same safety. All that changes is the customer service and the price you pay. For more on this, see our Cheap Gas & Electricity guide.
The winter fuel payment 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 of between £100 and £300.
To see if you're eligible and how much you could get, see our full winter fuel payment help.
The warm home discount offers a £140 rebate on electricity bills each year between September 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.
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.
See the full Free Insulation & Boilers guide for more.
Clever ways to calculate your finances