Money Wellness
A sign saying 'cold weather ahead' in front of snow-covered trees
category iconbills
calendar icon15 Jan 2024

Freezing temperatures will see thousands receive cold weather payments

A week of freezing temperatures will see thousands receive help towards their heating bills in the form of cold weather payments.

What are cold weather payments?

Until 31 March, if you’re getting certain benefits or support for mortgage interest and the average temperature in your area is zero degrees celsius or below for seven days on the trot, you may receive a cold weather payment.

How much will I get?

If you're eligible, you’ll get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather.

Do I qualify for cold weather payments?

You may be eligible for cold weather payments if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and get any of the following:

  • universal credit
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income support
  • income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • pension credit
  • support for mortgage interest

Cold weather payments are not available in Scotland. If you live in Scotland, you may get an annual winter heating payment instead.

Universal credit and cold weather payments

You’ll usually get cold weather payments if you – and your partner, if you have one - aren’t employed or ‘gainfully self-employed’. Being ‘gainfully self-employed’ generally means:

  • being self-employed is your main job
  • you work regularly
  • you make a profit.

You'll also need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • you – or your partner, if you have one - have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (with or without work-related activity)
  • you have a child under the age of five living with you

If your universal credit includes a disabled child payment, you’ll get cold weather payments whether you or your partner are employed, self-employed or not working.

Income support and income-based jobseeker’s allowance and cold weather payments

You’ll usually get cold weather payments if any of the following apply:

  • you get a disability or pensioner premium
  • you have a disabled child
  • you get child tax credit with a disability or severe disability element
  • you have a child under the age of five living with you

Income-related ESA  and cold weather payments

You’ll usually get cold weather payments if you’re in a work-related activity group or support group.

You might also get them if any of the following apply:

  • you get a severe or enhanced disability or pensioner premium
  • you have a disabled child
  • you get child tax credit with a disability or severe disability element
  • you have a child under the age of five living with you

I get pension credit, am I eligible for cold weather payments?

The vast majority of people on pension credit are eligible for cold weather payments.

Support for mortgage interest and cold weather payments

You’ll usually get cold weather payments if you’re treated as getting a qualifying benefit and any of the following apply:

  • the qualifying benefit includes a severe or enhanced disability or pensioner premium
  • you have a disabled child
  • you get child tax credit with a disability or severe disability element
  • you have a child under the age of five living with you

‘Treated as getting a qualifying benefit’ usually means you applied for the benefit but don’t get it because your income is too high.

How do I apply?

You don’t need to apply for cold weather payments. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically. The money will go into the same bank account as your benefit payments.

When will I get paid?

You should get a payment within 14 working days following a seven-day period of very cold weather.

If you don’t get your cold weather payment

Contact Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service if you don’t get a cold weather payment that’s due to you.

If you’re on universal credit, sign into your account and add a note to your journal or ring the helpline.

Are there any cold weather payments due in my area?

See if temperatures in your area mean you’ll be getting a cold weather payment.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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