Winter fuel payment scheme what is it and are you eligible?

winter health feature my town jan 2016

The cold weather payment scheme returns - Credit: Getty Images

The cold weather payment scheme returns this month and eligible recipients will receive a government payment each week that the temperature in their area falls below zero degrees. 

What is the cold weather payment scheme? 

The cold weather payment scheme is a government subsidy set up by the Department for Work and Pensions in 1988 to help low-income families through the winter months by paying out £25 each week that the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to drop below zero degrees between November and March. 

Payments are triggered by data collected by the Met Office from 94 weather stations around the UK 

Am I eligible? 

You may be entitled to Cold Weather Payments if you’re currently receiving: 

  • Pension Credit 

  • Income Support 

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 

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  • Universal Credit 

  • Support for Mortgage Interest 

You can check if your area is due a payment on the GOV.UK website. 

How to claim 

You do not need to apply. If you’re already eligible for Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, or support for Mortgage Interest you’ll be paid automatically. 

If you don't receive any of these you’ll have to make a claim by calling the winter fuel payment scheme helpline on the government website.  

Other schemes available  

Known as the winter fuel payment scheme, if you were born before September 6, 1955, you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. Most payments are made automatically in November or December up until January 2022. 

However, you’ll usually get less if you live with other people who also qualify or if you live in a care home or nursing home. Check the GOV.UK website for full details. 

Will it snow in Devon this month? 

According to the forecast, temperatures are set to drop next week which could see some parts of the UK receiving a light dusting of snow, however, no snow showers are forecast for the next couple of weeks in Devon.