Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013 - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 25 October 2012 | Standard notes SN06074

Authors: Steven Kennedy

Topic: Family benefits, Fuel poverty, Pensions, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits, Working age benefits

Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To ‘trigger’ the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days. The scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March each winter.

The payment is a fixed amount for each week of cold weather. For many years this was set at £8.50 a week but the Labour Government increased the rate to £25 a week as a temporary measure for winters 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. The current Government has made the £25 rate permanent. For Winter 2011/2012, 5.2 million individual payments were made worth a total of £129.2 million.

Payments are made automatically to those entitled to them. There should be no need to make a claim, but people who think they may be entitled but do not receive a payment should contact the Department for Work and Pensions.

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