Cold weather payments: An explanation of how you may qualify for this benefit

Temperatures dictate cold weather payments.
Temperatures dictate cold weather payments.

Q. In previous winters I received a cold weather payment as part of my Income Support entitlement, but I recently changed benefits to Universal Credit. Can I still get this payment with Universal Credit?

A. Cold weather payments will be paid for the following benefits: Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA), Income Based ESA, Pension Credit, Universal Credit and also if your benefit payments include support for mortgage interest.

For all benefits the payment can only be made if there has been a period of cold weather, which is defined as a seven-day period when the average temperature in your weather station area is below 0 degrees Celsius or below – the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will receive confirmation if this applies for your benefit area.

For claimants of Universal Credit you will qualify if there is a period of cold weather and the following conditions are met.

l You must not be working or self employed (unless you have a disabled child element as part of your Universal Credit claim).

l You have a child under five-years-old living with you, or you have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work (either with or without a work related activity as a condition of your Universal Credit claim).

Payments should be made automatically and will be £25 for each week of cold weather.

If you do think you qualify and your benefit area has had a spell of cold weather but you do not get the payment, then contact your benefit office.

For the other benefits listed, they also have conditions for payment to be made.

For Income Support, IBJSA and IBESA, you must also have a child under five-years-old, or receive a disability premium (whether enhanced or severe disability premium) or pensioner premium, or a child who is disabled, or a Child Tax Credit claim that includes a disability or severe disability premium, or for Employment and Support Allowance only you are in the Work Related Activity or Support Group.

Again payment is automatically added to your benefit, but again if you think you qualify and do not receive the payment, you should query this with your benefit office.

If payment is still refused and you still believe you meet the conditions, you can request a mandatory reconsideration to challenge the decision, as usual the request should be made within one month of the DWP’s decision.