Who is eligible for the Cold Weather Payment scheme and how do you claim?
Vulnerable households may be eligible for extra support this winter through the Cold Weather Payment scheme.
Vital payments have already been made to some families in Scotland, where the temperature fell as low as -9.9°C in places.
Forecasters are predicting an arctic blast and further snow in the coming weeks for northern England, which could trigger the £25 benefit.
When you can claim and how you are paid
The Cold Weather Payment Scheme is run by the Department of Work and Pensions and runs from November 1 until March 31.
It offers people on certain benefits £25 for each period of unseasonably cold weather.
Cold Weather Payments are paid if the average temperature in that area is recorded as or forecast to be 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
The payment does not affect any other benefits and is paid automatically into the same bank or building society account as the one used to pay benefits.
Those eligible will usually receive payments within 14 working days.
Who is eligible?
Residents must be in receipt of one of the following:
*Universal Credit; if the claimant is not employed or self-employed
*Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
*Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
*Support for Mortgage Interest
Additionally, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
*Be in receipt of a disability or pension premium
*Have a child under five living with you
*Be in receipt of Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
*Have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work
*Be in the work-related activity group or support group
*Have a severe or enhanced disability premium
*Have a disabled child in the household – if you are receiving Universal Credit you will receive a CWP where this applies, whether you are working or not.
Will Quince, Minister for Welfare Delivery added “It’s critical that the most vulnerable get support when they need it most and sustained periods of cold weather can cause people to worry about their fuel bills.
“We know how important it is that people keep their homes warm during any cold snap, and cold weather and winter fuel payments enable them to do so.”