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Over four million Cold Weather Payments made this winter

Written by: Emma Lunn
About 4.2 million Cold Weather Payments have been made so far this winter following 83 “triggers” between November 2022 and 6 January 2023.

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. Each residential postcode area in the country is linked to one of these weather stations. 

There have been 83 “triggers” for Cold Weather Payments so far this winter, with 74 in England and 16 in Wales. The number of triggers in each country does not add up to the total for England and Wales, as the coverage areas of some triggers cross the national borders.

The figures are much higher than last year with only six payments triggered last winter from 1 November 2021 to 11 February 2022.

According to Government statistics, up to 6 January 2023, the scheme has paid out 4,278,000 payments in England and Wales so far this winter to 3,714,000 eligible people. Of this number, 1,379,000 payments were made to people receiving Pension Credit (all figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000).

Eighteen areas including Shap, Exeter Airport, and Carlisle have had two triggers – meaning recipients will have received a total of £50 – while eligible recipients in 47 areas have received one £25 payment.

The Cold Weather Payments are made when there is a risk to people’s health from the cold weather. It provides help to individuals on benefits who are the most vulnerable to the cold. These include older people in receipt of Pension Credit, and some people in receipt of certain benefits.

Cold Weather Payments are made automatically to eligible applicants – there is no need to apply. Households can check if a payment is due in their area using the DWP’s Cold Weather Payment postcode checker.

Separate schemes are in place in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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