Updated 23rd January 2017
Cold Weather Payments are not the same as Winter Fuel Allowance Payments! To get Cold Weather Payment, it has to be cold - see below. Winter Fuel Allowance is paid whatever the temperature - providing you qualify.
The payments may be available - automatically - if you are in the 'low income' group. Set out below... You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits.
Below Zero or FORECAST to be below Zero deg C for 7 consecutive days. OR – an average of Zero deg C, or below, over a seven day period. Whilst it is easy enough to measure if zero or below for seven days, the ‘average’ measurement is not so easy. That is part of the reason why the government has enlisted the Met Office to determine if there has been an average!
The 2016/20017 season starts from November 1st 2016 and ends on 31st March 2017. Before or AFTER those dates do not count.
After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
If you qualify by way of the benefits you receive, or by your age, or other criteria set out below, you will get a payment of £25.00 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
To qualify for cold weather payments, you have to live in certain areas of the UK, where there are 'triggering' weather conditions during the winter months. Some areas will be deemed to be cold enough for the payment, whilst other will not be cold enough!!!
You can check if your area is cold enough at any given time from November 1st 2016. (Link at bottom of page)
The persons who are eligible for Cold Weather Payments are those who are on low incomes and live in a postal area where the temperature drops to Zero deg C – or an average of zero or less - for a period of seven consecutive days between the dates of 1st November 2016 and 31st March 2017.
It is possible for instance, that certain areas of Kent are classified as being cold enough for the 7 day period, whilst nearby in Sussex, there has been one warm day in the middle of the same week, which takes the 7 day average above Zero, which will prevent payment!!!!
Income Related ESA and are receiving any of these...You should be eligible.
If you are receiving Income Support; Income-based JSA; or Income related ESA AND you have had a baby recently, or have a child under the age of 5 who is living with you (any child) you should tell the JobCentre Plus, or you may not automatically get the payment.
You will normally get Cold Weather Payment if you are getting UC; you are not employed ; or self employed AND one of these apply to you;
Basically, you Do NO NEED to Claim. You should get it automatically if you are entitled to it. HOWEVER - if by any chance you do not receive it, tell you Pension Office or Jobcentre Plus, that you have not received it but think you are entitled to it.
The Payment is £25.00 for each of the 'full 7 day' periods that the temperature drops to freezing (0 deg C)or below in your postal area. No one gets more - or less. It is a standard payment. It will get to you automatically within 12 days of the benefit clicking in - as outlined above. The cold period can begin on any given day of the week - for instance the cold spell may start on a Wednesday, or any other days. Then it is 7 unbroken cold days from that particular starting point!
The Cold weather Payment does not affect any other benefits you receive. It will not be deducted from them or whatever.