Four million eligible for Cold Weather Payments as February sees record low temperatures

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Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme

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Met Office reports even suggest that there could be as much as 20cm of snow in Scotland over the coming week. Temperatures are likely to plunge to -10C in rural sheltered spots of Scotland.

The weather could drop to as low as -2 to -5 C across England, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

What this means is that many may be due a £25 a week Cold Weather Payment from the Government.

Payments are made if the average temperature in an area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

Government data shows that an estimated four million people are eligible for the extra cash.

Both forecast and observed temperatures from weather stations are used to determine which postcodes are eligible for payment.

Households may get Cold Weather Payments amid the freezing weather and be reassured that they have the additional money to afford extra heating.

This is especially important considering that Ofgem has announced a 54 percent increase on energy bills from April 2022.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from November 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Those eligible get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather.

It is essentially money to help with fuel costs.

After each period of very cold weather in an area, a person will receive a payment within 14 working days.

People do not need to apply. If they are eligible, they’ll be paid automatically.

Those who have had a baby or currently have a child under five living with them, are also eligible for a Cold Weather Payment.

However, they must inform the Jobcentre Plus of this.

There are other ways to qualify, for example Universal Credit recipients who have had a baby or currently have a child under five living with them are eligible for a Cold Weather Payment.

Cold Weather Payments do not affect other benefits.

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

The social protection scheme was set up in 1988 in order to support vulnerable individuals in the UK (excluding Northern Island) with financial support.

Year-to-year weather variability, as outlined by the upcoming arctic freeze, means that some seasons could potentially have larger pay-outs than others.

The Government paid out almost £100million in Cold Weather Payments last winter between November 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

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