What is the Cold Weather Payment?

A Cold Weather Payment is an extra amount you can get to help you heat your cold house.

If the average temperature in your area is, or is forecast to be, 0 degrees then you can get extra amounts. The weather has to be below 0 degrees for more than a week before the government issues payments.

It is only available between 1 November and 31 March each year. You will get it automatically if there’s a cold snap and you’re already claiming benefits.

It is not the same as the Winter Fuel Payment, which is a one-off payment for older people to help them heat their homes. If you would like more information about Winter Fuel Payments, you can see our guide here:

https://www.jobcentrenearme.com/winter-fuel-payment/

Any Cold Weather Payment won’t affect any other benefits you get because its not seen as income.

How much you’ll get

You will get £25 for each day that the temperature was below 0 degrees in your area.

You will get the money into the same bank or building society account as your other benefits are.

Who can claim it?

You can get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re claiming some of the benefits below:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

But there are some rules when it comes to getting a Cold Weather Payment, depending on what benefit you get.

If you get Income Support/Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will be eligible for a cold weather payment if:

  • You have a disability
  • A child who has a disability
  • A child aged 4 or younger living with you
  • Getting child tax credit that has a disability element

If you get Income-related ESA, you will be eligible for a cold weather payment if:

  • A severe enhanced disability premium
  • Pensioner premium
  • A disabled child
  • A child aged 4 or younger living with you
  • Getting child tax credit that includes a disability payment.

If you get Universal Credit, you will be eligible for a cold weather payment if:

  • You are out of work
  • Have a limited capacity for work
  • Have a disabled child
  • Have a child aged 4 or younger living with you

If you have a disabled child, it doesn’t matter if you have a job or not. You will be eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment.

How to claim it

The good thing is you don’t need to apply for a Cold Weather Payment. If you are eligible you’ll get it along with your benefits into the same account.

You don’t need to apply for the payment. As long as your bank details are up to date, you should wait until it arrives.

You can check if your area is eligible for a payment using the following link:

https://coldweatherpayments.dwp.gov.uk

This will be because there has been a cold snap in your area that’s lasted longer than 7 days.

You should contact your local jobcentre if the payment doesn’t arrive. If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you should call that helpline instead.

Challenging a decision

If the government says you aren’t eligible for a Winter Fuel payment, you can challenge the decision. This is a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

You can do this with any of the benefits the government offer.

You need to be careful, as the time limits for challenging the decision are quite strict. You have one month from the date of rejection to submit a challenge.

Turn2Us has a useful guide for challenging decisions:

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Challenging-Department-for-Work-and-Pensions-benef/What-are-my-options

Useful contacts

Universal Credit helpline

0800 328 9344

0800 328 1344

(Lines are open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm)

If you want to find your nearest jobcentre in England, Scotland and Wales:

http://los.direct.gov.uk/

In Northern Ireland:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/jobs-benefits-offices-jobcentres-and-social-security-offices

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/cold-weather-payment/

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Cold-Weather-Payment/What-is-a-Cold-Weather-Payment

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/cold-weather-payment