As freezing temperatures grip the UK, struggling households can access vital support through £25 weekly cold weather payments. Designed to aid low-income families during extended periods of sub-zero temperatures, these payments are automatically deposited into eligible bank accounts within 14 days.
Valid from now until March 31, households facing chilly conditions for seven consecutive days are eligible for the £25 payment during each such period. Over 285 postcodes have already triggered cold weather payments in 2023, indicating that thousands of households may be owed financial assistance.
This payment is automatically made to recipients of various benefits, including Universal Credit, and will appear in bank statements with the notation “DWP CWP” for England and Wales, and “SSA CWP” for Northern Ireland.
To be eligible for the cold weather payment scheme, recipients must be on benefits such as Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, or Support for Mortgage Interest. Additional criteria may apply, including disability, having a disabled child, receiving child tax credits with a disability element, having a severe or enhanced disability premium, being in receipt of a limited capability for work amount, or having a child under five living in the household.
The cold weather payment does not impact other benefits, and eligible recipients should receive the payments automatically within 14 days. If the cold weather persists beyond seven days, multiple payouts may be possible, with some areas receiving up to £75 in the past.
Understanding Cold Weather Payments: Cold weather payments are triggered when temperatures, either recorded or forecasted, remain at or below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days between November 1 and March 31. Eligible recipients receive £25 for each seven-day period with sub-zero temperatures. The government’s online tool allows checking whether a specific area has qualified for a cold weather payment by entering the postcode.
Notably, Scotland has replaced cold weather payments with an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment.
How to Apply: No application is required for the cold weather payment scheme, as eligible recipients receive payments automatically. Those who believe they qualify but haven’t received payments can contact their local Pension Centre, Jobcentre Plus office, or call the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644. If on Universal Credit, recipients can also add a note to their journal online.
Additional Assistance: For those ineligible for cold weather payments, alternative assistance includes the Cost of Living payment, potentially reaching up to £1,350. This government initiative provides payments of £900, £300, and £150, with some eligible for the full £1,350. Additionally, the Warm Home Discount of £150 started being applied to customer bills on October 16, offering further support during the colder months.