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Personal and household finance

Cold Weather Payments

Cold Weather Payments can be added to your benefit payments during a period of very cold weather. These payments are different from the Winter Fuel Payment, which is available to people who have reached the qualifying age.

To get a Cold Weather Payment, a period of cold weather must be forecast or recorded in your local area and:

  • you receive a qualifying benefit
  • you do not live in a care home
  • you're not subject to immigration control

What temperature triggers a Cold Weather Payment?

A period of cold weather is defined as seven or more consecutive days with an average temperature of 0°C or less. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) uses weather stations across the country to decide when and where there's a period of cold weather.

Qualifying benefits for Cold Weather Payments

You can qualify for a Cold Weather Payment if you get Pension Credit (Savings Credit or Guarantee Credit).

If you are receiving income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), you may also receive a payment if you have one of the following:

  • the support or work-related component of ESA
  • enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium
  • a pensioner premium
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • a child under the age of five living with you

If you're receiving Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you will qualify for a Cold Weather Payment if you have any of the following:

  • a disability or pensioner premium
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit, which includes a disability or severe disability element
  • a child under the age of five living with you

Cold Weather Payment claims and when it is paid

You should receive a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for each period of cold weather in your area. These payments are made within 14 working days of a cold snap.

You don't need to make a claim because the DWP will automatically add the Cold Weather Payment to your benefit payment. You will also receive a written notice that the extra payment will be made.

If you haven't received a payment and you think you should have done, query it with the DWP. You can make a written claim to the DWP and have the right to appeal if this is refused.

The official online source of government information on benefits is GOV.UK.


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Page last reviewed: 20/05/2013

Next review due: 20/05/2015

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