DWP’s Cold Weather Payment, Warm Home Rebate and Winter Fuel Support can help pay for heating bills
the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is reminding households across the country that if they receive certain benefits, they may be eligible for extra money to help keep their homes warm during the colder months until the end of March.
You may be eligible for a cold weather payment, a warm house rebate, or a winter fuel payment. So far this winter, 13,000 cold weather payments have been triggered in 25 postcode areas by freezing temperatures across Scotland.
This is an automatic £25 top-up triggered for eligible households when the average temperature has been recorded or is expected to be zero degrees Celsius or lower on seven consecutive days at one of Scotland’s 27 weather stations.
The UK government made almost £100million in cold weather payments last winter between November 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, including 854,000 to households across Scotland for a total of more than 21 million pounds.
The 25 postal codes that have triggered cold weather payments so far this winter are:
- IV 15
Commenting on the scheme, DWP Lords Minister Baroness Stedman-Scott said: ‘These additional payments provide support each year to help those facing the coldest weather, without anyone needing to lift the small finger.
“Cold weather payments can be triggered until the end of March, giving those facing disproportionate cold weather extra insurance during the colder months.”
What is the cold weather payment?
People on low incomes and on certain benefits can claim the £25 Payment in cold weather to help cover heating costs when the recorded or forecast temperature is below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days.
You’ll get £25 for every seven-day spell of very cold weather until March 31, 2021.
After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should receive payment within 14 business days. It is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
It should also be noted that Cold Weather Payments does not affect your other benefits.
Who is eligible for cold weather payments?
You may be eligible for Cold Weather Payments if you receive:
Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Employment and Income Support Benefit
Coverage of mortgage interest
You can read full eligibility details for each on the GOV.UK website here.
How to Claim Cold Weather Payments
You don’t need to apply. If you qualify for a cold weather payment, you will be paid automatically.
Find out more about cold weather payments on the GOV.UK website here.
Other help available with rising energy bills
Payment for winter fuel
If you were born on or before September 26, 1955, you could get between £100 and £300 to help pay your heating bills – this is called a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
You don’t need to claim it and the winter fuel payment will automatically go to your supplier if you qualify.
You will automatically receive support if you:
- Receive a state pension
- Get another Social Security benefit – not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
If you get neither, or you live abroad, you may need to file a claim.
If you have already received a Winter Fuel Payment, you do not need to reapply unless you have deferred your state pension or moved abroad.
Winter Fuel Payment Eligibility
You are eligible for a winter fuel payment if both of the following conditions apply:
- You were born on or before September 26, 1955
- You have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20-26, 2021 – this is known as the “qualifying week”
The deadline to make a claim for winter 2021 to 2022 is March 31, 2022.
how much you will get
The amount you get depends on your situation during the qualifying week. Any money you receive is tax-free and will not affect your other benefits.
You can find out how much you will receive on the dedicated GOV.UK pages here.
When you will be paid
Most payments are made automatically in November or December and should be paid by January 14.
All payments are made to the account where your benefits are usually paid.
If the money has not yet been paid into your account, contact the winter fuel payment center here.
How to make a claim
If you have not previously received a winter fuel payment, you should only apply if one of the following conditions applies:
- You are not receiving benefits or a state pension
- You only benefit from housing allowance, local tax reduction, family allowance or universal credit
- You receive benefits or a retirement pension but reside in Switzerland or in an EEA country
If you have already received a winter fuel payment, you should only claim it if since your last payment you have either:
- Defer your state pension
- Moved to Switzerland or an EEA country
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the winter fuel payment if you:
- Are in hospital and receive free treatment for more than a year
- Need permission to enter the UK and your granted leave says you cannot claim public funds
- Were in jail all week from September 20 to September 26, 2021
- Lived in a nursing home for the entire duration of June 28 to September 26, 2021 and received a pension credit, income assistance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Worker’s Allowance employment and support (ESA) linked to income
Discount for a warm house
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 as part of the Discount program for warm homes which opened in October.
The money is not paid to you – it is a one-time reduction on your electricity bill, between October and March 2022.
You may be able to get the reduction on your gas bill instead if your supplier supplies you with both gas and electricity – contact your supplier to find out.
The discount will not affect your cold weather payment or your winter fuel payment.
Am I eligible?
There are two ways to qualify for the Warm Home Rebate Program:
How do you apply for the Discount program for warm homes depends on how you qualify for the discount.
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Prepaid or prepaid meters
You can still benefit from the discount if you use a prepaid or prepaid electricity meter.
Your electricity supplier can tell you how you will get the discount if you are eligible, for example it could be a voucher you can use to top up your meter.
How to register
Your electricity supplier decides who can benefit from the reduction.
The number of discounts suppliers can grant is limited. Check with your provider as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible and how to apply – check with them even if you were eligible for a discount last year.
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by March 31, 2022.
For the complete list of participating energy suppliers, go to the dedicated page on the GOV.UK website here.
This page also contains details of what will happen if you qualify but your energy supplier is no longer marketing.
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