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COLD weather payments could give many low-income families an extra boost as they battle freezing temperatures this winter.
That could mean an extra Â£ 25 for energy bills which are already skyrocketing right now.
To make matters worse, Britons have already experienced temperatures below 0 Â° C, after seeing snow in some areas this week.
With the months to come, temperatures could only get colder.
But some households receiving certain benefits will want to keep an eye on their thermostats in case they become eligible for a cold weather payment.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is cold weather payment?
Britons are entitled to an additional Â£ 25 to help heat their homes when the temperature in their area is on record or is expected to be zero degrees or below for an average of seven consecutive days.
Since the weather must be freezing for seven consecutive days, you will not be entitled to the extra money if it was zero degrees or less in one day.
So just because it was below zero where you live on the weekends doesn’t mean you will automatically receive payment.
It may be worth keeping an eye on the local weather forecast to make sure you don’t miss out if it’s cold enough for the required period.
You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by insert your postal code in the government tool.
If you are eligible, you should receive payments within 14 business days.
This year’s cold weather payment program is already open since it started on November 1, but a large chunk of zip codes are not making payments yet.
Last week is the first time we’ve started to see temperatures drop significantly anyway, so it’s likely that payments won’t be refundable until a little later in the rollout of the program.
However, the program continues until March 31, 2022, so there is still enough time for temperatures to drop further and more postcodes to be eligible.
Who is eligible for a cold weather payment?
You are eligible for the Cold Weather Payment Plan if you receive one of the following benefits and meet certain criteria:
- Annuity credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Employment allowance and income support
- Universal Credit
- Assumption of mortgage interest
Depending on your particular situation, you may also need to meet one or more of the following additional criteria:
- Be disabled or receive a retirement bonus
- Have a disabled child
- Benefit from a child tax credit that includes an element of disability or severe disability
- Have a serious or enhanced disability premium
- Receive limited capacity for the amount of work
- Have a child under five living with you
Regardless of employment, universal credit applicants are eligible if they have a disabled child amount in their application. You can find out more about eligibility on the government site.
How do I claim payment for cold weather?
Cold weather payment is paid automatically, so you don’t need to request it.
If you get universal credit, you can also log into your account and add a note to your journal.
If you are going to the hospital this could affect your request, so be sure to tell someone about it using the contact details above.
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