BENEFITS EXPERT: Why you may not have been given a cold weather payment
Q. I receive Guaranteed Pension Credit and last year received a cold weather payment around the beginning of January, this was £25. However when I have checked my benefit payments I have not had the payment, why is this and how do I get the payment?
A. The Cold Weather payment is automated and there is no requirement to submit a claim. If you qualify the payment is added by The DWP. The payment only applies to certain groups of benefit claimants, typically Pensioners get Pension Credit, for those below pension age you would need to be getting an Income Based/means tested benefit such as Income Support, Income Based ESA, Income Based Job Seekers or Universal Credit as well as getting increases to these benefits due to health conditions or you are responsible and receive benefits for a child aged 5 or under.
The reason you have not yet received a Cold Weather payment is there probably hasn't been a period of cold weather as defined by the regulations in question i.e. for your postcode area there must be a period of 7 consecutive days where the average mean temperature was 0 degrees Celsius or below. You can check this on the Government Website under the section for Cold Weather payments.
If you have are having difficulty heating your home during the winter months, especially those who have prepayment/pay as you go type meters you should also check what support your local authority is offering. The government provided additional funding to all local authorities in England and Wales to provide help for people during winter in view of all COVID/lockdown related issues. Support offered by your local council will vary as each local authority had complete freedom as how to use this extra money for their residents. Some for example offer vouchers for fuel (if you are a pre-payment customer) others offer cash payments. Information is normally available on your local councils website and steps you need to take to get help. Help does not require a referral from a 3rd party organisation such as Citizens Advice.