The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs during the winter, and it’s now opened for 2022/23. People may be eligible if they get certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest, including pensioners on Pension Credit.
The payment isn’t guaranteed though – eligible people only qualify if the average temperature in the area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven days in a row between November 1 and March 31.
This year, in Scotland, the scheme has been replaced and eligible people may instead get an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment instead, regardless of weather conditions in the area.
What is Pension Credit?
Separate from the state pension, Pension Credit gives a person who has reached state pension age and is on a low income extra money to help with living costs.
It can also open up eligibility to other forms of support, including the Cold Weather Payment as well as a Council Tax discount and free TV licence for those over 75.
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People may be eligible for it even if they have other income, savings or own their own home.
To qualify, a person needs to live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age, although it’s possible to start the application up to four months before reaching state pension age.
Who is eligible for the Cold Weather Payment?
People may be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if they get Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit, Support for Mortgage Interest.
Whether employed or not, if a person has a disabled child amount in their Universal Credit claim, they’ll be eligible.
Finally, people who get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will usually be entitled to Cold Weather Payments if they have any of the following:
- A severe or enhanced disability premium
- A pensioner premium
- A child who is disabled
- Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
- A child under five living with them.