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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

The Cold Weather Payment scheme for 2014/2015 closed in March 2015.

The scheme for will re-open for 2015/2016 later this year, when it opens you can use the online postcode tool to check if your area is eligible for a payment.

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, or
  • the average daily temperature over seven consecutive days is forecasted to be 0°C or below

This information is gathered by weather stations situated throughout Northern Ireland.

How much is a Cold Weather Payment?

Each Cold Weather Payment is £25.00.

Who can get Cold Weather Payments?

If you are in receipt of 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 customers 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:

  • a disability or 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 (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

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 issued automatically.

Normally you would need to tell the State Pension Service 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 Payments are different from Cold Weather Payments. Winter Fuel Payments are yearly one-off payments to help eligible people pay for their heating in the winter.

Winter Fuel Payments are paid to men and women who have reached the minimum age at which a woman can receive a state pension. They are 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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