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Cold Weather Payments: a guide

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.

Peter Earl
From the Energy team
minute read
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Posted 11 FEBRUARY 2020

What are Cold Weather Payments?

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

Am I eligible to get Cold Weather Payments?

You could be eligible 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 though, so it’s important to check the gov.uk website for the details.  

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 forecasted to be, below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days or more, between November and March each year.

How will I receive my Cold Weather Payments?

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.

When will I receive my Cold Weather Payments?

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

I’m eligible to get Cold Weather Payments but haven’t received them – what do I do?

If you’re sure you qualify but haven’t received your payments, you can get in touch with Jobcentre Plus, your pension centre or the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 9344.

Will Cold Weather Payments affect my other benefits?

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

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 5 November 1953 and you meet the eligibility criteria for it. Most payments are made automatically between November and December. See more on the Winter Fuel Payment.

How can I save more money on energy costs?

You might also consider applying for the Warm Home Discount Scheme. And we’ve a list of ways to reduce your energy usage in our energy saving tips. But 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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