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More than £130m paid out in Cold Weather Payments this winter

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

More than five million £25 Cold Weather Payments have been made to households in England and Wales this winter.

Almost two million payments have been made to pensioners and more than three million to working-age households.

Cold Weather Payments of £25 are made to eligible recipients when the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days.

The scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March each year. During this period, the daily average temperatures are measured by the Met Office at a network of 72 weather stations across England and Wales (there are separate schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Each residential postcode area in the country is linked to one of these weather stations.

Where payments are due, they are paid directly into people’s bank accounts. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that more than £130m was paid out from November until the end of March – with more than £40m of this going to pensioners in receipt of Pension Credit.

About 80% of this winter’s payments – approximately four million – were triggered in December.

Minister for pensions Laura Trott said: “Cold Weather Payments provide vital support to help people through cold snaps each winter. While those colder months are now thankfully behind us, there will be no let-up in our extensive support for households across the country.

“This government is committed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. We’re delivering the biggest State Pension increase in history and boosting benefits by over 10%, while our Energy Price Guarantee will continue to hold down people’s energy bills.”