The Cold Weather Payment could help you pay for your heating in the cold weather.
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For many UK households "heating or eating" is a weekly or even daily struggle.
For those who qualify, the Cold Weather Payment is a government grant given when the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius for one consecutive week.
Find out if you qualify and how to get your cold weather payment. You'll also find helpful information on saving on your energy bills if you dont' qualify for government assistance.
How does the cold weather payment work?
The cold weather payment applies from 1 November to 31 March annually. If, during these times, the temperature where you live hits zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days, those eligible will receive £25 for each seven-day period.
The Cold Weather Payment will not impact on any other benefits you receive, and you don’t need to repay it.
The payment will be received within 14 working days, paid directly into the bank account you already receive benefits to.
It's worth noting that cold weather payment is different to, and can be claimed in addition to, the winter fuel payment.
Do I qualify for cold weather payment?
The cold weather grants may be available to you if you currently receive the following benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
To learn more about eligibility, visit the Government's dedicated Cold weather payment page.
How to claim
The great thing about the Cold Weather Payment is you don’t need to claim. Like the winter fuel payment, the cold weather payment will be paid automatically to your account registered for benefits payments.
If you believe you're eligible for the payment and have no received it, contact your pension centre, Jobcentre Plus office or Universal Credit helpline.
Is there other assistance out there for those struggling with energy bills?
There are a range of other benefits that you may be eligible for — and tips that don't require eligibility at all.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a yearly one-off payment that you may be eligible for over winter, but it is not related to temperature. It is entirely separate from the Cold Weather Payment.
The Winter Fuel Payment is made each winter to certain qualifying households, including the elderly and those on certain forms of income-support, to help pay for increased energy bills over the winter period.
You may also be entitled to the Warm Home Discount.. The Warm Home Discount is a similar scheme that provides rebates on energy bills. In the 2016-17 year qualifying homes receive a £140 rebate on their electricity bills. The rebate comes in the form of a discount on existing energy bills rather than a cash payment.
Like the Cold Weather Payment, the Warm Home Discount is typically paid automatically with recipients receiving a letter confirming that the deduction will take place.
To learn more about this and other energy efficiency grants that you may be entitled to see our dedicated guide.
How else can I save on heating costs?
While there are plenty of grants and subsidies out there for households in need of help you can still save money on your heating bills if you don't qualify.
The single easiest way to cut your household energy bill is to make sure your home retains more heat. Insulation starts with draught proofing, which is the cheapest way to save energy around the home. Just look for any areas around doors and windows that are letting in cold air, or even in chimney flues or letterboxes. Draught-proofing materials can be bought from any hardware store and are easy to install yourself. Read more about this in our insulation guides.
Don't forget, you can also save up to £447/year by switching to a cheaper energy deal. All you need is an energy bill. You can compare and switch online or call uSwitch energy helpline at 0800 6888 244.