IF you're struggling with energy bills you could get help when the temperature drops thanks to the cold weather payment scheme.
Here, we round up who's eligible for the £25 payment offered by the government and how to apply.
Cold weather payments can start from November 1 onwards and continue through the winter months.
The cash is designed to help people cover the cost of heating their homes when temperatures drop.
With energy bills rocketing and leaving many Brits struggling to pay bills, it's worth checking if you're eligible for the help.
The financial support is worth £25 and you can get it more than once if the temperature drops – here's everything you need to know
What is the cold weather payment?
The cold weather payment is dished out when temperatures are recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below, on average, for seven consecutive days.
When temperatures drop between November 1 and March 31, eligible Brits are entitled to extra money to heat their homes when this happens.
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You get £25 for each seven-day period where the weather is below zero Celsius on average during this time frame.
You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by popping your postcode into the government's tool from November 1 onward.
By March 31 2022, the payments were triggered by 6 weather stations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, covering around 36 postcodes.
Cold Weather Payments will no longer be made in Scotland as the scheme has been replaced.
Instead you might get an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment. You can find out more about the scheme on the Scottish Government website.
How much do I get from the cold weather payment and how is it paid?
After each period of very cold weather in your area, those eligible for the scheme get a £25 payment.
The payments should arrive within 14 working days.
The cash is paid into the same bank or building society account as the one used to pay benefits, and doesn’t affect any other allowances you may claim.
Who is eligible for a cold weather payment?
You’re eligible for the cold weather payment scheme if you’re in receipt of one of the following benefits and meet certain criteria:
- Pension credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for mortgage interest
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also need to meet one or more of the following additional criteria:
- Have a disability or be in receipt of pension premium
- Have a child who is disabled
- Be in receipt of child tax credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- Have a severe or enhanced disability premium
- Be in receipt of a limited capability for work amount
- Have a child under five living with you
Regardless of employment, Universal Credit claimants are eligible if they have a disabled child amount in their claim.
You can find out more about eligibility on the government's website.
How do I apply for the cold weather payment?
You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically to those who are eligible.
If you don’t receive a payment and believe you’re eligible then you can tell your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office, or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
If you’re getting Universal Credit, you can also sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.
If you go into hospital, this could affect your claim so make sure you tell someone using the contact details above.
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