Many people in the UK are dealing with cold weather at the moment, with many Brits even experiencing snow in their area over the weekend.
That means many will have had to rely on their heating systems to keep them warm.
To help with these additional costs, some may qualify for financial support via the Cold Weather Payment scheme.
Those eligible for the scheme will get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather in their area.
The payment is given if the average temperature in the area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
The scheme runs between November 1 and March 31, meaning payments can only be triggered during this time frame.
Not everyone in a triggered area will be able to claim the payments, however.
It may be people who get certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest qualify.
Those who are eligible usually won't need to claim the payment, as it is paid automatically.
People who qualify should receive a payment within 14 working days after each period of very cold weather in the area.
The money will be paid into the same bank or building society account as the eligible person's benefit payments.
The Cold Weather Payments do not affect other benefits a person receives.
Although the payment is usually given automatically, there are instances when a person will need to take action.
This may include people who have had a baby or have had a child under the age of five coming to live with them.
Who is eligible for Cold Weather Payments?
A person may qualify if they are getting:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
Those who are in this circumstance and also getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance will need to inform Jobcentre Plus.
The government warns: "You will not automatically get Cold Weather Payments if you do not."
If a Cold Weather Payment was expected but not received, the person should tell their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office.
Meanwhile, Universal Credit claimants should sign into their account and add a note to their journal. Those without an online account should ring the Universal Credit helpline.
Further eligibility rules for some of these benefits will apply, with all details found on the government website.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released details which postcodes have been triggered. You can also check a particular postcode online, via the GOV.UK postcode checker.
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