UK has had a cold start to December, and things are about to get even colder as forecasters warn of a severe cold spell brought in by Arctic winds. The discussions over Cold Weather Payment have started heating up in the region.
According to the Met Office, the country can expect sub-zero temperatures during the day and night, as well as snowy conditions on higher ground, for much of the next week.
Even though the government stepped in to freeze Ofgem’s energy price cap at £2,500, many households have been forced to delay turning on the central heating this winter due to the brutal cost of living crisis. As a result, even though average energy bills have doubled in a year, many households are hesitant to do so.
The UK’s inflation rate is currently at a staggering 11.1%, food costs have skyrocketed, the Bank of England has set interest rates at 3%, and Jeremy Hunt just gave a somber Autumn Statement that included a package of tax increases totaling £24 billion and spending cuts worth £30 billion.
However, there are government support payments that are being distributed in December as well, including the most recent instalment of the energy bill discount program-me and a unique payment for retirees.
The Cold Weather Payment plan is one of the more intriguing of these.
This was reinstated on November 1 and will remain in effect until March 31, 2023. It provides low-income residents of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland with handouts of £25 each time the local weather is predicted to be below zero degrees Celsius for seven days in a row.
Anyone registered with the Department for Work and Pensions to receive one of the following qualifying benefits payments will be paid the money, depending on how bad the winter weather is:
a. The pension credit
b. Income assistance
c. A jobseeker’s allowance depending on income
d. Employment and support allowance based on income
e. Omnibus credit
f. Assistance with mortgage interest
The money will be automatically transferred to the same account where you get your benefits within 14 days of a payment being approved for a specific seven-day period. You don’t need to apply.
By entering your postcode, you can check to see if one is coming to your neighborhood click here.
Contact the Job center Plus office that handles your benefits or the Pension Service if you believe you should have received the payment but have not.
Residents in Scotland are not eligible for the program-me, but they are instead entitled to a £50
You can learn more about the Cold Weather Payment program-me here.