LOW income households can get £25 a week to help with energy bills during the winter thanks to the cold weather payment scheme.
Freezing weather in certain areas of the UK, mostly in Scotland, has already triggered the first payment for many.
Here, we round up who's eligible for the financial support by the government and how to apply.
What is the cold weather payment?
When temperatures are recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days on average between November 1 and March 31, eligible Brits are entitled to extra money to heat their homes.
You get £25 for every seven day period where the weather is below 0C 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 onwards.
Last year, four weather stations in Scotland had cold weather payments triggered by the start of December.
So far this year, seven weather stations in Scotland have triggered the payments.
Which postcodes are already eligible for Cold Weather Payments?
THESE are the weather stations that have already triggered cold weather payments in the following postcodes:
- Tulloh Bridge – FK20-21, PA33, PA36, PA40, PH8-9, PH15-17, PH30-35, PH37, PH49-50
- Aviemore – AB37, IV13, PH19-26
- Braemar – AB35-36, PH10-11, PH18
- Loch Glascarnoch – IV4, IV6, IV7, IV14- IV16, IV23-24, IV63
- Eskdalemuir – DG3-4, DG10-11, DG13-14, ML12, TD7, TD9
- Salsburgh – EH43-46, G65, G67-68, ML1-3, ML6-11
- Shap – CA10-12, CA16-17, LA8-10, LA21-23
After each period of very cold weather in your area, those eligible for the scheme should receive payments within 14 working days.
It’s 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 you apply for the cold weather payment?
You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically.
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.
Low income households can get up to £140 towards their electricity bills with the government's warm home discount scheme.
We also round up other ways to get help paying your energy bills this winter – and it can save you over £1,000.
Plus, here's how claim back up to £63 in tax on energy bills if you’ve been working from home during the coronavirus crisis.
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