State pension age? Claiming Pension Credit can unlock Cold Weather Payment eligibility

Martin Lewis discusses pension credit 'top-up'

Pension Credit is means-tested, and it is made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. The former is a top up amount, while the latter is an additional payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement.

An example of this is a pension. That said, it’s important to note a person may not be eligible for Savings Credit if they reached state pension age on or after April 6, 2016.

A person does not pay tax on Pension Credit, unlike the state pension which is a form of taxable income.

Those who are, or who think think they may be, eligible can investigate how much they could get via the government’s Pension Credit calculator.

Furthermore, those who get Guarantee Credit may also qualify for other forms of financial support.

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Examples include Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Cold Weather Payments and help with the costs of NHS services.

An independent benefits calculator, such as the tools hosted by Turn2us, Policy in Practice and entitledto, can be accessed to see if one is eligible for anything else.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs in the winter, this year from November 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020.

During this period, if the average temperature in the eligible person’s area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven days in a row, they will get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather.

This payment does not affect other benefits.

It should be paid automatically within 14 working days after the period of very cold weather in the area.

The government website confirms: “You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Pension Credit.”

Although it is paid automatically, some may be interested to see whether a Cold Weather Payment has been triggered in their area.

It’s possible to check this online, via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.

The Cold Weather Payment tool requires the user to input the first part of their postcode, and then press continue.

The results will then show the number of Cold Weather Payments which are due in this area from the start of the scheme this winter, up to the current date.

Official statistics show between November 1 to December 4, 2020, there has been no triggers for Cold Weather Payments.

It may be a person can get Cold Weather Payments if they receive:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest.

The full eligibility criteria for each benefit can be found on the government website.

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