Universal Credit claimants urged to act as Cold Weather Payment deadline looms – get £25

Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme

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Universal Credit is a payment which is overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and administered every month. The payment is likely to provide important support to Britons who are out of work, unable to work or on a low income. However, while people can budget for their monthly Universal Credit payments, many may be entitled to an additional sum – but only if they act fast.

A Cold Weather Payment can offer help to those living in particularly cold areas of the country.

With temperatures dropping in winter, the scheme is intended to help eligible Britons with some of the associated costs of keeping themselves warm.

Under the scheme, individuals will get a payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or set to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

People can expect to get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather in their local area.

However, with the scheme running between November 1 and March 31, time may be running out.

Usually, Cold Weather Payments are handed out automatically to those who are eligible.

The Government, though, has acknowledged some may not receive a payment they think they are entitled to.

It has provided guidance into the steps people should take before the deadline to see if they are entitled.

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The official website reads: “If you do not receive your Cold Weather Payment, and if you’re getting Universal Credit, sign into your account and add a note to your journal.

“If you do not have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead.

“The phone number is on letters about your Universal Credit claim.”

It is worth noting, however, that Universal Credit claimants may not be the only individuals entitled to a DWP payout. 

People may get a Cold Weather Payment if they are in receipt of certain benefits and payments.

These are:

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

Focussing once again on Universal Credit, there are also certain criteria a person may need to meet to secure a Cold Weather Payment.

If a person gets Universal Credit and is not employed or self-employed, the Government says they will “usually” get a Cold Weather Payment.

However, one of the following criteria must also apply to their circumstances:

  • A person has a health condition or disability with limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
  • A person has a child under five living with them

In addition, if someone has a disabled child amount in their Universal Credit claim, they will get a Cold Weather Payment whether they are employed or not. 

After each period of very cold weather in a person’s area, they should expect a payment within 14 working days.

This is issued directly into the same bank or building society account as a person’s benefit payments.

Britons are likely to be pleased to note a Cold Weather Payment does not affect their other benefits. 

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