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Cold Weather Payments

We take a look at what Cold Weather Payments actually are, who’s eligible to receive them, and other ways to keep energy costs low.

We take a look at what Cold Weather Payments actually are, who’s eligible to receive them, and other ways to keep energy costs low.

Written by
Sajni Shah
Utilities comparison expert
Last Updated
11 NOVEMBER 2022
3 min read
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What are Cold Weather Payments?

The government makes Cold Weather Payments to some UK residents to help cover the costs of heating their home for periods of extremely cold weather. Those who qualify receive £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2022 and 31 March 2023.

Am I eligible to get Cold Weather Payments?

You could be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit, Support for Mortgage Interest, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance and/or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance.

There are exclusions or additional requirements though, for example you may need to also have (depending on the benefit):

  • A disability or pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • A child under 5 living with you.

So it’s important to check the GOV.UK website, or nidirect if you are in Northern Ireland, for the details.

You can't get Cold Weather Payments if you live in Scotland, but you might get an annual Winter Heating Payment of £50 a year instead. If you're eligible, you'll get this payment regardless of weather conditions in your area.

How do I claim a Cold Weather Payment?

In most cases there’s no need to apply for Cold Weather Payments. If you qualify, you’ll receive them automatically at the relevant time.

The exception is if you get Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance and you’ve recently had a baby – or a child under the age of five has come to live with you. In this instance, you’ll need to notify Jobcentre Plus of your change in situation so you can request Cold Weather Payments.

If you think you’re entitled to the Cold Weather Payment but haven't received it, you should tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus. Or if you’re getting Universal Credit, sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

How much Cold Weather Payment will I get?

You’ll get your payment of £25 approximately two weeks after each spell of cold weather.

How will I receive my Cold Weather Payments?

Your payments will be paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefits.

How can I challenge a Cold Weather Payment decision?

If you’re sure you qualify but haven’t received your payments, the first step is to get in touch with Jobcentre Plus, the Pension Service or log into your online Universal Credit account. If you haven’t got an online account, you can call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

You can ask for a decision on your claim to be looked at again if you disagree with it. If you still disagree with the decision, you can take your claim to an independent tribunal. You’ll usually need to dispute the decision within one month.

How can I save more money on energy costs?

You might also consider applying for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which can give you a one-off discount on your winter electricity bill. And take a look at our list of ways to reduce your energy use in our energy saving tips.

One of the smartest ways to help save money on your bills is to compare energy deals with us. Simply compare energy suppliers in minutes to see if you can save.

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Frequently asked questions

How will I know if it’s cold enough to receive Cold Weather Payments?

Cold Weather Payments only come into effect when the weather is, or is forecast to be, below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days or more, between 1 November and 31 March each year. You can check the GOV.UK website to see if a payment is due in your area in England or Wales or check nidirect for Northern Ireland.

What’s the difference between Cold Weather Payments and the Winter Fuel Payment?

Cold Weather Payments are £25 payments paid approximately two weeks after a cold spell, if you meet the eligibility criteria. The Winter Fuel Payment is paid as a lump sum of £100-£300 if you’re born before 26 September 1956 and you meet the eligibility criteria for it. Most payments are made automatically between November and December. See more on the Winter Fuel Payment.

Will Cold Weather Payments affect my other benefits?

No. Your existing benefits won’t change if you start receiving Cold Weather Payments.

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