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Cold weather payments
Cold weather payments are payments made to pension credit (PC) claimants and some universal credit (UC), income support (IS), income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and income-related employment and support (ESA) claimants. Cold weather payments are intended to assist with the extra costs of heating when the weather has been exceptionally cold for at least seven consecutive days.
A period of cold weather
This is a period of seven consecutive days during which the average of the mean daily temperature, as forecast or recorded for that period at your designated local weather station, is equal to or below zero degrees celsius.1Reg 1(2) SFCWP Regs
1     Reg 1(2) SFCWP Regs »
Who qualifies
You qualify for a cold weather payment if:
    a period of cold weather has been forecast or recorded for the area in which your normal home is situated;1Reg 2(1) and (2) SFCWP Regsand
    you have been awarded PC (guarantee or savings credit) for at least one day during the period of cold weather. You also qualify if you have been awarded UC, IS, income-based JSA or income-related ESA for at least one day during the period of cold weather and:2Reg 1A(2) and (3) SFCWP Regs
      your UC includes an increase for a disabled or severely disabled child; or
      your UC includes the limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity element (or would except that you get the carer element instead) and you are not in employment or gainful self-employment during the period of cold weather or on the day it is forecast; or
      your IS or income-based JSA includes a disability, severe disability, enhanced disability, disabled child or pensioner premium; or
      your income-related ESA includes the pensioner premium, severe disability premium, enhanced disability premium or the work-related activity or support component; or
      you are responsible for a child under five; or
      you are getting child tax credit which includes a disability or severe disability element.
You might qualify even if you are not getting one of these benefits, but you are getting support for mortgage interest. The rules on this are complicated so get advice if you think this might apply to you.
You do not qualify for the cold weather payment if:
    you are living in a care home; or
    usually, if you are a person subject to immigration control.
1     Reg 2(1) and (2) SFCWP Regs »
2     Reg 1A(2) and (3) SFCWP Regs »
Amount of payment
£25 is paid for each week of cold weather.1Reg 3 SFCWP Regs
1     Reg 3 SFCWP Regs »
Claiming and getting paid
You do not need to make a claim for a cold weather payment. The Department for Work and Pensions should automatically pay you if you qualify. A payment cannot be made more than 26 weeks after the last day of the winter period (1 November to 31 March) in which the cold weather period fell.1Reg 2(6) SFCWP Regs
If you are overpaid a cold weather payment, you might have to repay it and, in some circumstances, you may have to pay a penalty.
1     Reg 2(6) SFCWP Regs »
Challenging a decision
If you do not receive a cold weather payment to which you think you are entitled, submit a written claim for it and ask for a written decision. If you are refused, you can ask for a revision of the decision. Do so within one month of receiving the decision. If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.