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 2017/2018

The Cold Weather Payment scheme 2017/2018 runs from 1 November 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Each Cold Weather Payment is £25. 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. This service will be available from 1 November 2017.

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.

Who can get Cold Weather Payments

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

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.

Income Support and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

If you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, 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
  • Premiums for people with disabilities

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

If you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), 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

Universal Credit

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit, you’re either not employed or you're self-employed, and one of the following apply:

  • you get a limited capability for work amount (with or without a work-related activity amount)
  • you get the disabled child amount in your claim
  • you have a child under 5 living with you

You’ll also be eligible if you have a disabled child amount in your claim, whether you are employed or not.

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.

How to claim

You do not need to apply for Cold Weather Payment - payment will usually be made automatically.

Normally you would need to tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre or your local Social Security/Jobs & 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 for eligible people to help pay for heating in the winter.

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