express– Cold Weather Payments have been triggered for Aviemore, AB37. PH18-26 and AB35-36 have also been triggered, hitting those based in Scotland.
Eligible recipients of Cold Weather Payments will get a payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
They’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
After each period of very cold weather in their area, they should get a payment within 14 working days.
It will be paid into the same bank or building society account as their benefit payments.
It should be noted Cold Weather Payments do not affect other benefits.
To be eligible for Cold Weather Payments, claimants must be in receipt of one of the following:
Those affected by this trigger will not need to apply.
So long as they’re eligible, they should be paid automatically.
Where people don’t get a payment but feel they should have received one, they will need to contact the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus for assistance.
If they’re getting Universal Credit, they’ll have to sign in to their account and add a note to their journal detailing they did not get the payment.
Recently, Age UK called on the Government to provide an additional one-off payment of £50 to all those eligible for Cold Weather Payments in the face of rising winter poverty.
The charity also argued existing Cold Weather Payments should also be brought forward to ensure that payments in arrears arrive no later than seven working days after a period of cold weather.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, commented: “As temperatures plummet this winter, millions of vulnerable older people are feeling trapped at home, too scared to go out for fear of catching Covid, and too scared to turn the heating on for fear of racking up a bill they can’t afford.
“We cannot let a situation continue where people are so worried about rising bills that they either put their health at risk by not keeping their homes warm enough or feel forced to cut back on meals to make ends meet.
“No one should have to make the impossible choice between eating and putting their heating on.
“If the Government does not provide urgent financial support to change this – at a time when new restrictions encouraging us to stay at home seem a distinct possibility – it could mean a tragedy for many older people. The cost of cold has never been higher.”
A Government spokesperson responded: “We remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society and our £500m Household Support Fund was introduced this year to help people with essential costs through the winter, including fuel bills.
“We are also supporting 11.4million pensioners with Winter Fuel Payments and continue to help vulnerable and low-income households through the Warm Home Discount Scheme and Cold Weather Payments.”