You may have heard of the Winter Fuel Allowance – which is a social assistance benefit for people aged 66 and over to help pay their heating costs, but have you heard talk about cold weather payments?
The two are actually different, and you may be eligible for money from both the Winter Fuel Allowance and Cold Weather Payment programs.
You may already be receiving both amounts in cash. But the latter is poured when the temperature reaches a certain degree throughout the winter period.
So, you are probably now wondering what temperature it has to be for the government to pay you money. So we will answer that as well as what the cold weather payments are. Here is what we know:
What is a cold weather payment?
Cold weather payments are additional cash paid to people on certain benefits that have been in place since 1986.
For much of that period cash payments stood at Â£ 8.50 per week, but in 2008 the previous Labor government significantly increased the allowance to Â£ 25 per week.
It has stayed at that rate until today, with this year’s schedule starting Monday, November 1.
For payments to be enabled, however, it must meet the criteria. This means that the temperature must be predicted or has already fallen to zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days.
When this happens, between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, the eligible person will receive the money for each seven-day period.
Read more: All the financial support you can get from the government this winter
The government knows when a payment is due when informed of temperatures by the Meteorological Office. They have a number of weather stations that operate over a series of zip code areas and are monitored by the weather office. The government uses the data, such as home address and postal code locations, that it collects to determine whether a claimant should receive payment in cold weather.
Those eligible for cold weather payment are those receiving pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, employment allowance and income support, universal credit or mortgage interest support.
If you have a pension credit, you should receive the money without having to do anything or notify anyone.
If you are in receipt of an income supplement or an income-based jobseeker’s allowance, you will receive payment if you are in receipt of this benefit and you have one of the following: a pensioner’s premium or disability, a disabled child, you also claim Tax Credit and this also includes a disability, or you have a child under five who lives with you.
If you are in receipt of employment and income support allowance, you may receive it if one of the following conditions applies: you have a disabled child, you are entitled to a child tax credit which also includes a disability, or you have a child under the age of five living with you.
For those applying for universal credit, you will receive a cold weather payment provided you are not working or self-employed and have a disability or health problem, or have a child under the age of five years living with you. You will also be entitled to the money if you have a disabled child and this is part of your application for universal credit. For this criterion, you do not need to work.
Read more: What is the winter fuel allowance? Payout to millions you may be entitled to
If you get mortgage interest support, you will be entitled to a cold weather payment if you request it and one of the following applies: you receive a retirement bonus, you have a severe disability bonus or increased, you have a child with a disability, you are claiming a child tax credit, including the disability portion of this benefit, or you have a child under five living with you.
You should receive your cold weather payment automatically, but contact Pension Services or Jobcentre Plus if you think you should have received this benefit but did not. If you are on Universal Credit, contact the Universal Credit helpline.
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