What is a cold weather payment?
  • It is intended to help towards extra heating costs during “very cold weather”.
  • The definition of very cold weather is when the average temperature for the customers area is recorded as, or forecast to be, at 0 degrees or below over 7 consecutive days
  • An amount of £8.50 is paid for each week of “very cold weather” (Once again this year the payment will rise from the normal £8.50 to £25.00.This increase is not permanent and only covers winter of 2009/2010.)
  • It does not need to be paid back and does not affect any other benefit
Eligibility
  • A customer is entitled to a CWP if they receive Pension Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (income related) that includes a work-related activity or support component for at least one day in the period of cold weather.
  • A customer is entitled to a CWP if they are entitled to IS, JSA (IB) or ESA(IR) in the assessment phase for at least one day in the period of cold weather and have a dependent child under five; or receive one of the following:
    • a pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium;

    • a disability premium, severe disability premium or enhanced disability premium;

    • a disabled child premium;

    • Child Tax Credit that includes an individual element for a child or qualifying young person who is disabled or severely disabled.

Features
  • Specified Meteorological Office weather stations are used to obtain information on very cold weather to determine when cold weather payments are applicable.
  • Queries about customer’s eligibility to receive Cold Weather Payments, including details of which areas have reached the required temperature, are not for the Met Office to respond to.
  • “Information about post code to weather station links and which weather stations have triggered payment is available on the Jobcentre Plus Guidance Site in the Cold Weather Payment Guidance”
  • Customers asking whether their postcode area qualifies for a Cold Weather Payment should NEVER be referred to the Meteorological Office. When customers ask about Cold Weather Payments, either refer them to the direct.gov.uk website postcode facility, or do this for them if they do not have access.
  • The current scheme ended on 31/03/2010 and the postcode facility has been removed for now. It will presumably be reinstated this winter