The Cold Weather Payment: what it is and how much you can claim
Want to learn more about how the Cold Weather Payment works, who can benefit, and how to claim? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is a Cold Weather Payment?
The Cold Weather Payment is a government grant designed to help cover the cost of higher heating during periods of – you guessed it, cold weather!
The payment’s available if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, or other benefits.
Here’s how it works. Between 1 November and 31 March every year, if the temperature in your local area drops to, or below, 0°C for 7 days in a row – you can get a payment of £25 for each 7-day period.
What’s meant by a period of cold weather?
In this instance, “cold weather” means when the temperature drops below freezing, for longer than a week. This temperature needs to be recorded by the weather station nearest to your postcode.
It’s easy to check whether that’s happened. Simply enter your postcode on the gov.uk website for Cold Weather Payments, and you’ll be able to see if and when the temperature’s hit zero for 7 days or more.
Eligibility criteria: am I eligible for the Cold Weather Payment?
You’ll likely be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Support for Mortgage Interest
Here are full eligibility details for each benefit:
You’ll get £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March every year.
The process: how can you claim a Cold Weather Payment?
It couldn’t be simpler. In fact, you don’t even need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, it’s paid automatically.
You’ll be paid after each 7-day period of cold weather – and you should get your payment within 14 working days. The payment is normally paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
Will the Cold Weather Payment affect other benefits?
Definitely not. Cold Weather Payments don’t affect your other benefits in any way.
When’s the next Cold Weather Payment scheme?
The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs between 1 November and 31 March of every year. To find out more, visit the government website.
How can you challenge a Cold Weather Payment decision?
If you disagree with the decision made on your Cold Weather Payment eligibility, you can ask for it to be looked at again. This is known as a “mandatory reconsideration”. To do that, contact the benefits office that gave you the decision. You can do that by phone, letter, or by filling in and returning a form (usually found on the website of your benefits office).
If you still disagree with the outcome of that decision, you can then appeal to an independent tribunal. You can do this online, via the DWP website.
Be aware that the time limits for appeals are strict. You’ll usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it’s important to seek advice and act quickly.
What’s the difference between the Cold Weather Payment and the Winter Fuel Payment?
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