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Cold Weather Payment

If you're receiving certain benefits, you could qualify for extra money for each week there is very cold weather in your area. This is known as a Cold Weather Payment.

Cold Weather Payment scheme 2015/2016

The Cold Weather Payment scheme 2015/2016 started on 1 November 2015 and will remain operational until 31 March 2016.

Cold Weather Payment is £25 a week. Payment is automatic if you receive a qualifying benefit and the temperature in your postcode area is, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.

To check whether the temperature in your area is low enough for you to receive a payment, use the Cold Weather Payment checker.

What is meant by a period of cold weather?

A period of cold weather as defined by the Met Office is when:

  • the average daily temperature over seven consecutive days is recorded as 0°C or below
  • the average daily temperature over seven consecutive days is forecast to be 0°C or below

Temperature information is gathered by weather stations throughout Northern Ireland.

How much is a Cold Weather Payment?

Each Cold Weather Payment is £25.00 a week.

Who can get Cold Weather Payments?

If you receive any of the following, you could qualify for a Cold Weather Payment:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)

A recorded, or forecasted, period of cold weather will trigger the process that allows payment to be made to eligible people who live in the affected postcode areas.

Pension Credit

Income Support and  Jobseeker's Allowance (income based)

If you get Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance (income based), you will usually receive Cold Weather Payments if you also have any of following:

Employment and Support Allowance (Income-related)

If you get ESA (income related), you will usually receive Cold Weather Payments if you also receive any of the following:

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

Employment and Support Allowance - introduction

Effect on other benefits

Cold Weather Payments don’t affect other benefits you may be getting.

How you will be paid

You will receive your Cold Weather Payment in the same way as you usually receive your benefit.

Do I need to apply?

No. Payment will usually be made automatically.

Normally you would need to tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre or your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits office if you didn’t receive a payment.

Payment can’t be made more than 26 weeks after the last day of a recorded cold weather period.

Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment is an annual, one-off payment made to eligible people to help them pay for heating in the winter.

Winter Fuel Payments are paid to men and women who have reached the qualifying age. Winter Fuel Payment is not linked to temperature. This is different to Cold Weather Payments, which eligible people may get for each period of very cold weather in their postcode area.

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