What is the Cold Weather Payment and how do I get it?

The Cold Weather Payment helps vulnerable households over the winter. But what is it, are you eligible, and how do you receive your payments?

Disclaimer: The information on this page was last updated on 23/12/2022, 13:29:42

If the temperature drops below 0C for over 7 days, you could be eligible to receive multiple payments of £25 to help pay your heating and energy bills thanks to the Cold Weather Payment. Find out if you’re eligible for the payments and how to claim below. As always, we’ve got you covered!

What is the Cold Weather Payment?

The Cold Weather Payment is a scheme set up by the Government to help vulnerable households cover their extra energy costs and keep them safe in periods of extremely cold weather.

If the average daily temperature is set to be below 0C for any 7-day period between 1st November and 31st March, eligible households will receive a payment of £25. There is no limit to how much you can receive – you get £25 every time it’s below 0C for 7 consecutive days.

In winter 2019/2020, over £300,000 was paid out in Cold Weather Payments across the UK. In 2017/1018 (remember the ‘Beast from the East’?) almost £115 million was paid out to vulnerable households.

Cold Weather Payment eligibility criteria

You could be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment scheme if you receive:

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

Depending on which of the above criteria you meet, you might also need to have:

  • A child under 5 living with you
  • A disability or pensioner premium
  • A child who is disabled
  • A limited capability for work
  • A disability element of Child Tax Credit

If you don’t qualify, you might be able to claim the Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount instead.

How to claim Cold Weather Payments

You don’t have to do anything to receive Cold Weather Payments.

If you’re eligible for the scheme and your closest weather station has recorded an average temperature of 0C for 7 consecutive days, your £25 will be paid directly into your bank account (the same one your benefits are paid into).

You should receive your payment automatically within 14 days of the cold 7-day period.

If you think your area has been cold enough, you can use the Cold Weather Payment checker below.

Check if your area is eligible

What to do if you haven’t received your payment

If you’re eligible and the Cold Weather Payment checker says that your area has Cold Weather Payments due, you should receive your payment within 14 days.

If you haven’t received your payment, you should contact your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office. They should be able to work out why you haven’t been paid and if there’s anything you should do about it.

If you’re on Universal Credit and haven’t received a payment, you can add a note to your online journal or call them on 0800 328 5644.

If you’re eligible because you’ve recently had a baby or a child under 5 has just moved in with you, you won’t automatically receive your payments unless you’ve let Jobcentre Plus know. You can do this by visiting your local Jobcentre Plus office or by calling 0800 055 6688.

Will the Cold Weather Payment affect my Warm Home Discount?

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Your Warm Home Discount won’t be affected by any Cold Weather Payments you receive. As long as you meet both sets of criteria, you’ll be able to receive both Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount.

If you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you’ll be paid your Warm Home Discount automatically, as long as your energy provider supports the scheme. The eligibility criteria is similar for both the Warm Home Discount and the Cold Weather Payment, so it’s very likely you’ll be able to receive both.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount

Will the Cold Weather Payment affect my Winter Fuel Payment?

As long as you’re eligible for both the Cold Weather Payment and Winter Fuel Payment, you can receive them both at the same time. Neither will have an effect on the other as they’re two different types of support.

Both are paid automatically into your account if you’re eligible. Some of the criteria for the two payments overlap, so it’s very likely that you can take advantage of both schemes.

Find out more about the Winter Fuel Payment

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