How to find out if you're eligible for a cold weather payment as temperatures plunge

A woman walks her dog through overnight snow in Consett, County Durham, on Friday, as parts of the UK are hit by freezing conditions. (PA)
A woman walks her dog through overnight snow in Consett, County Durham, on Friday, as parts of the UK are hit by freezing conditions. (PA)

Freezing temperatures have triggered cold weather payments to people in more than 300 postcode areas in England and Wales.

People on the lowest incomes in affected postcode districts will receive a £25 payment from the government.

The payment process is triggered when the average temperature in an area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0C or less for seven consecutive days.

It comes after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a Level 3 cold weather alert for England - warning of potential “serious consequences for health” - and forecasters said on Friday the UK will see at least seven days of arctic weather with wintry downpours and “freezing fog”.

Here, Yahoo News UK sets out who can currently receive the £25 payment.

How to find out if you're eligible for a cold weather payment

First, people in England and Wales are eligible if they claim certain benefits, including Pension Credit; Income Support; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Universal Credit; or Support for Mortgage Interest.

They don’t need to apply as the money is automatically paid into the same account in which they receive their benefits. The government says this payment should be made within 14 days following the seven-day period of freezing weather.

A van that lost control in the snow in Castleside, Durham, on Friday amid the freezing weather. (PA)
A van that lost control in the snow in Castleside, Durham, on Friday amid the freezing weather. (PA)

Second, the payments only apply to certain postcodes which have suffered the freezing weather. This can be verified on the government’s cold weather payment postcode checker (a full list of the currently-affected postcodes can also be found at the bottom of this article).

The scheme has been available for each seven-day period of freezing weather since 1 November, and runs until 31 March next year.

In Scotland, a different scheme, called the winter heating payment, is used. It means a £50 payment is given to anyone who claims the benefits listed above, but regardless of the weather conditions where they live.

The payments will be made in February next year. As with the scheme in England and Wales, people do not need to apply as the payments will be made automatically.

Read more: Senior Tory MP says public sector staff could 'put on an extra layer’ at work

Richard Neudegg, a spokesperson for Uswitch.com, said: “Cold weather payments help many vulnerable households, including older people and disabled families, to keep the heating on when they might not be able to afford it.

“Nearly £100m was paid out in 2020-21, and higher bills this winter mean the payments are more valuable than ever this year.”

Postcodes in England and Wales where cold weather payments apply

5 December:

Redesdale - CA9, DH8, NE19, NE47-49

Shap - CA10-12, CA16-17, LA8-10, LA21-23

Yeovilton - BA4-10, BA16, BA20-22, BS25-28, DT9-10, SP8, TA1-20, TA23

Benson - HP5-23, HP27, OX9,OX10,OX33, OX39,OX44, OX49, RG9, SL7-9

Bingley - BB4, BB8-12, BB18, BD1-22, HD3, HD7-9, HX1-7, LS21, LS29, OL13-14, S36

Exeter Airport - EX1-12, EX24, TQ1-6, TQ9, TQ12, TQ14

Libanus - NP4, NP11-13, NP22-24, NP44, SA9

Rochdale - L0-9, M24, M26, OL1-12, OL15-16,SK15

Rostherne - CW4, CW6-11, M1-9, M11-23, M25, M27-35, M38, M40-41, M43-46, M50, M90, PR7, SK1-12, SK14, SK16, WA1-16, WN1-8

Trawsgoed - LL35-40, SY20, SY23-25

6 December:

Albemarie - DH1-7, DH9, DL4-5, DL14-17, NE1-13, NE15-18, NE20-21, NE23, NE25-46, SR1-7, TS21, TS28-29

Almondsbury - BS1-11, BS13-16, BS20-24, BS29-32, BS34-37, BS39-41, BS48-49, GL11-13, NP16, NP26

Bainbridge - BD23-24, DL8, DL11-13

Carlisle - CA1-8, DG12, DG16

Coleshill - B1-21, B23-38, B40, B42-50, B60-80, B90-98, CV1-12, CV21-23, CV31-35, CV3 CV47, DY1-14, LE10, WS1-15, WV1-16

Hereford - GL1-6, GL10, GL14-20, GL50-53, HR1-9, NP7-8, NP15, NP25, SY8, WR1-11, WR13-15

Keele - CW1-3, CW5, CW 12, ST1-8, ST11-12, ST14-21

Leek Thorncliffe - DE4, DE45, S32-33, SK13, SK17, SK22-23, ST9-10, ST13

Little Rissington - CV36, GL54-56, OX7, OX15-17, WR12

Llysdinam - LD1-2, LD4-8, SA19-20, SY7, SY9, SY18

Pembury Sands - SA1-8, SA14-18, SA31-34, SA61-63, SA66-73

Shawbury - SY1-6, SY11-13, TF1-13

Stonyhurst - BB1-3, BB5-7, LA2, LA6-7, PR6

Stowe - NN1-7 NN11-13, MK18

Walney Island - LA1, LA3-5, LA11-20

Westonbirt - BA1-3, BA11, BA13-15, GL7-9, RG17, SN1-6, SN8-16, SN25-26

Woburn - MK1-17, MK19, MK40-46, NN8-10, NN29, PE19, SG5-7, SG15-19

7 December:

Boscombe Down -BA12, RG28, SO20-23,SP1-5, SP7, SP9-11

Bramham - HG1 – 5, LS1-20, LS22-28, YO1, YO8, YO10, YO19, YO23-24, YO26, YO30-32, YO41-43, YO51, YO60-61

Brize Norton - OX1-6, OX8, OX11-14, OX18, OX20, OX25-29, SN7

Charlwood - BN5-6, BN44, GU5-6, ME6, ME14-20, RH1-20, TN1-20, TN22, TN27

Fylingdales - YO13, YO18, YO21-22, YO62

Hawarden Airport - CH1-8, LL11-14, SY14

Hurn - BH1-25, BH31, DT1-2, DT11, SP6

Lake Vrnwy - LL20-21, LL23, SY10, SY15-17, SY19, SY21-22

Leeming - DL1-DL3, DL6,DL7, DL9, DL10, TS9, S16 YO7

Marham - CB6-7, IP24-28, PE12-14, PE30-38

Nottingham - CV13, DE1-3, DE5-7, DE11-15, DE21-24, DE55-56, DE65, DE72-75, LE1-9, LE11-14, LE16-19, LE65, LE67, NG1-22, NG25, NG31-34

Odiham - GU1-4, GU7-35, GU46-47, GU51-52, RG1-2, RG4-8, RG10, RG12, RG14, RG18-27, RG29-31, RG40-42, RG45, SL1-2, SL4-6, SO24

Rothamsted - AL1-10, EN6, HP1-4, LU1-7, SG1-4, SG12-14, WD3-7, WD17-19, WD23-25