Cold Weather Payment

Cost of Living Help

If you're receiving certain benefits, you could qualify for extra money for each week there is very cold weather in your area. This is known as a Cold Weather Payment.

Latest cold weather payments

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November 2023 to 31 March 2024. This page will be updated when cold weather payments are triggered for any Northern Ireland postcode areas

Cold Weather Payment scheme 

The Cold Weather Payment scheme will reopen on 1 November 2023. You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.

You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

You’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November 2023 to 31 March 2024.

The Cold Weather Payment checker will help you see if you are entitled to a payment in your area. Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments.

What you’ll get

You’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments. Cold Weather Payments do not affect your other benefits.

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:

Eligibility

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Pension Credit

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Pension Credit.

Income Support and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

You will usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and have any of following:

  • a disability or pensioner premium
  • a child who is disabled
  • Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • a child under five living with you

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

You will usually receive get Cold Weather Payments if you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance and are in a work-related activity group, or support group. If you're not in either group, you might also get Cold Weather Payments if you 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 you

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

You will usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and 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 you

Universal Credit

You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit, and none of the adults on your claim are employed or self-employed. One of the following must also apply:

  • you have a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work 
  • you have a child under five living with you

You will also be eligible if you have a disabled child amount in your claim, whether you are employed or not.

How you will be paid

You will receive your Cold Weather Payment in the same way as you usually receive your benefit.

How to claim

You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically.

A baby or child under five comes live with you

You need to tell the office that pays your benefit if you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

If you’re getting Universal Credit, you need to:

  • sign in to your account
  • record a change of circumstances in your Universal Credit account to have the baby or child under five added to your claim
  • add a note to your journal advising of your change

If you do not have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead. The phone number is on letters about your Universal Credit claim. You will not automatically get Cold Weather Payments if you do not.

If you do not receive your Cold Weather Payment

Tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre or your local Jobs and Benefits office if you think you should have received a Cold Weather Payment but you have not. If you’re getting Universal Credit, sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

If you do not have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead. The phone number is on letters about your Universal Credit claim.

Hospital stays

Tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre or your local Jobs and Benefits office if you go into hospital - this could affect your payment. If you’re getting Universal Credit, sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

If you do not have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead. The phone number is on letters about your Universal Credit.

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