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Cold Weather Payments may enable you to keep the heating on this winter (Picture: Getty Images)

With energy bills set to remain high this winter in spite of the price cap fall, many of us are once again concerned about putting the heating on as the colder months arrive.

The cap currently stands at £1,923 after falling in October – but bills are likely to be around the same as last winter, given that the £400 Government discount given to every bill-payer in late 2022 and early 2023 has now ended.

Fortunately help is at hand for those who need it, and as well as the cost of living payment which is being rolled out to eligible households from the end of October, many will also qualify for the Cold Weather Payment given out in certain conditions.

The date from which payments could be made has now been confirmed – when is it, and who is eligible for the money?

Here’s what you need to know…

Exact date Cold Weather Payments start

This year’s Cold Weather Payment scheme begins from November 1 2023, and runs through until March 31 2024.

However the payment is only made to eligible groups of people under certain circumstances.

You’ll get a payment between those dates if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days.

Many people have resorted to other methods of keeping warm in the wake of rising energy bills (Picture: Getty Images)

You’ll be able to check if your area is due a Cold Weather Payment at the Government website from November onwards

How much is a Cold Weather Payment?

Those who qualify will receive a payment of £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between the above dates, paid into your bank account within 14 days.

It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments and does not affect any existing benefits you may receive.

The Cold Weather Payment is different from the Winter Fuel Payment, which is a sum between £250 and £600 paid to eligible people born before 25 September 1957.

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Those living in Scotland also do not qualify for Cold Weather Payments – but could get an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment instead.

Who is eligible for the Cold Weather Payment?

In order to be eligible, you will need to be receiving:

Pension Credit
Income Support
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Universal Credit
Support for Mortgage Interest

If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, AND either have a young baby or a child under five living with you, you need to inform Job Centre Plus – else you won’t receive the payment.

You do not need to apply for the Cold Weather Payment – if you’re eligible you will be paid it automatically.

If you think you should have received the payment but don’t, you need to contact Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus, or if you’re claiming Universal Credit, put a note in your journal or ring the Universal Credit hotline.

If you don’t qualify for the Cold Weather Payment, you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme or the Winter Fuel Payment.

Notably, these are different schemes, so check if you’re able to receive those by visiting gov.uk.


MORE : Keep bills low this winter with these energy efficient tips for every budget


MORE : Martin Lewis highlights the discount that could give some households up to 50% off their energy bills

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