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Cold Weather Payment scheme opens

Written by: Emma Lunn
Thousands of people will be able to claim a £25 a week discount on their energy bill from today.

The government’s Cold Weather Payments scheme has opened for winter. Under the scheme, vulnerable households can claim £25 a week towards their energy bill in periods of especially cold weather.

For the money to be claimed, the temperature must be zero degrees or less for seven or more consecutive days based on official Met Office readings.

The scheme is run by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is available from 1 November until 31 March every year.

After each period of very cold weather in their area, recipients should get a payment within 14 working days. It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as benefit payments and those eligible will usually receive their money within 14 working days. The payments don’t affect other benefits.

According to the DWP, about 3.8 million people are eligible for Cold Weather Payments across the UK.

Anyone in receipt of the following benefits is eligible for the cold weather payment:

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

Some other people may also be able to receive a Cold Weather Payment. These include:

  • People in receipt of a disability or pension premium
  • Families with a child under five living with them
  • People in receipt of Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Families with a child who is disabled
  • People in receipt of a limited capability for work amount
  • Anyone with a severe or enhanced disability premium

You can check if a payment is due in your area by visiting the DWP Cold Weather Payment website.

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