Universal Credit winter payment: How to claim Cold Weather Payments
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In the year of coronavirus, many need a cash injection as thousands move onto benefits as the jobs market narrows and the winter sets in. Cold Weather Payments are given to those on certain benefits who would otherwise struggle to keep on top of household bills.
As energy bills traditionally soar in the winter, the average temperature in your area must also be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days.
When this happens, claimants receive £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
The payment is tax-free and is not means-tested – meaning you will not have to prove anything about your finances to get the payment.
Who can get Cold Weather payments?
If you claim Universal Credit and are unemployed or not self-employed, you will get Winter Fuel Payment from the Government.
Those receiving Universal Credit must also have either a health condition or disability with limited capacity for work, or have a child under five in order to get the payments.
Payments began on November 1 – so many of those eligible should have already received their first payment.
As well as UC, Cold Weather Payments are available to those who receive the following support:
• Pension Credit
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
• Support for Mortgage Interest
How do I claim?
Cold Weather Payments are made automatically to those who are eligible to receive them. So in most cases, no action needs to be taken.
However, if you think you are eligible and would like to put in a claim, you can check online if you can through the GOV.uk website.
If you are on Universal Credit, you should sign in and add a note to your journal if you think you should be receiving the payment.
If you do not have an online account, you can ring the Universal Credit helpline instead.
You will find the appropriate helpline on letters about your Universal Credit.
Any money you get will not affect your other benefits.
The Government has stated £27million in total was paid out in the 2018/19 year to help those with extra heating costs.
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