What is the cold weather payment?
The Cold Weather payment is a payment paid to the recipients of certain government benefits to help them heat their homes during the cold weather periods when energy use is at its highest.
Those eligible will receive a payment for each seven day period the weather is, or forecast to be, 0 degrees Celsius or below. Payment is only issued if the required weather spans over a seven consecutive day period.
How do I know if I’m eligible for the Cold Weather Payment?
Whether or not you are eligible for the Cold Weather Payment might depend on whether or not you are receiving the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
If you receive Pension Credit, you’ll most likely find yourself eligible to receive Cold Weather Payments to help you with your energy bills during freezing winter periods.
If you get Income Support or JobSeeker’s Allowance and either a disability or pensioner premium, have a disabled child, get Child Tax Credit (that includes a disability or severe disability element) or have a child under 5 living with you, you should be able to get the Cold Weather Payment.
If you get Income-related ESA and are part of a work-related activity group or support group. You might also get the Cold Weather Payment if you have a severe disability premium, a pensioner premium, a child who is disabled, if you receive Child Tax Credit or you have a child under 5 living with you.
You’ll most likely get the Cold Weather Payment if you get Universal Credit and you’re not employed. One of the following must also apply:
- You have a health condition or disability and cannot work or have restricted capacity to do so
- You have a child under the age of 5 living with you
How do I apply to get the Cold Weather Payment?
You don’t apply for the Cold Weather Payment - if you’re eligible you will automatically receive it.
If you are eligible and you have a baby or have a child under 5 come and live with you, then you will need to tell JobcentrePlus. If you do not do this, you will not automatically get the Cold Weather Payment.
If you believe you are eligible for the Cold Weather Payment but you are not receiving it, then you should do the following:
- Talk to your pension centre, if applicable
- Talk to your Jobcentre Plus office, if applicable
If you are receiving Universal Credit but not getting the Cold Weather Payment, sign in to your Universal Credit account and add a note to your journal that you should be receiving it.
If you do not have a Universal Credit account don’t panic. Simply ring the Universal Credit helpline instead and they will be able to help you. To save you rummaging through your Universal Credit papers to find the number, call:
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Lines open Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm.
A guide to the Cold Weather Payment: Do I have to be getting Universal Credit?
Receiving Universal Credit is one of the benefits you have to be receiving in order to qualify for the Cold Weather Payment, along with quite a few others.
So, you don’t have to be getting Universal Credit, but it is just one of the ways. The other ways you can become eligible to receive the Cold Weather Payment are stated above.
A guide to the Cold Weather Payment: How much will I receive?
If you’re eligible to receive the Cold Weather Payment, you can expect to receive £25 for each 7 day period where the weather reaches 0 degrees celsius or below, between November 1st 2020 and March 31st 2021.
When is the Cold Weather Payment due?
After each cold seven day period between this date period, you should receive your Cold Weather payment within 14 working days, and will be paid into the same account that you use for your other benefits (see above for list).
How long does the Cold Weather Payment apply for?
The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021.