Caroline Flint

Standing up for Don Valley.

Cold weather payments help pensioners

Caroline Flint MP today told vulnerable families in Don valley not to worry about turning up the heat as the Government pays out millions in Cold Weather Payments.

Around £200 million in payments has been racked up so far this winter, with over £70 million of this over the cold New Year's weekend alone.

The Don Valley MP said: "As the cold weather continues, I don't want vulnerable people to feel left in the cold. I especially want the elderly to know that extra help is on the way.

"There are two ways we are helping this winter - with Winter Fuel payments of £250 or £400 for the over 80s, and 183,600  people in South Yorkshire are getting the increased Cold Weather Payments of £25.

"The payments are automatic so everyone entitled will get them and should not worry about turning up their heating."

Nine new weather stations were introduced this year in a bid to provide a more accurate assessment for those affected.

As well as the Cold Weather payments, over 12.3 million older people will benefit from Winter Fuel payments, totalling about £2.7bn.

Notes to Editors

What are Cold Weather Payments?

For customers on a low income, a Cold Weather Payment may be available for each seven-day period at or below zero degrees Celsius.

Who can get Cold Weather Payments?

People on certain qualifying benefits are automatically eligible (table below). Eligible customers will be paid automatically and do not need to apply.

 

Benefit

Entitlement

Pension Credit

Entitled

Income Support

Entitled if they receive:

 

  • a Disability Premium,
  • a Child Disability Premium
  • or they have a child under 5 years.

Income based Jobseeker's Allowance

Entitled if they receive:

 

  • a Disability Premium,
  • a Child Disability Premium
  • or they have child under 5 years.

Income-related Employment Support Allowance

Entitled if they receive:

 

  • the Support Component,
  • the Work-related Activity Component,
  • a Severe or Enhanced Disability Premium,
  • a Pensioner Premium,
  • or have a child who is disabled or a child under 5 years.

 

 

How much is a Cold Weather Payment?

This year payments are £25 per week for any seven consecutive days when the average temperature is zero degrees Celsius or below. 

 

How do you measure the temperature?

We use 85 specified Meteorological Office weather stations

 

How many weather stations have triggered payments so far?

As of 6 January 2010, 61 of the 85 weather stations have triggered a payment since 1 November (some of them have triggered three or four payments so far).

 

Why use postcodes linked to weather stations?

This is the most straightforward way to run the scheme. The Meteorological Office advises that the network of 85 weather stations is sufficient to provide national coverage with a reasonable level of local sensitivity.

 

How can I find out if a Cold Weather Payment has been triggered?

There is a postcode search facility at: http://pensions.direct.gov.uk/en/cold-weather-payment/home.asp . This will show how many payments have been triggered for that postcode. 

 

 

ENDS

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