Cold Weather Payout: Retirees Could Get Extra Payout By Claiming Pension Credit | Personal finance | Finance

A person is eligible for a cold weather payment if they claim a pension credit and do not live in a care home. Pension Credit is a non-taxable, means-tested benefit for people over the statutory retirement age who are on low income and need help with living expenses.

The legal retirement age is currently set at 66, but it is expected to increase.

Two other increases are provided for in government legislation: a gradual increase to age 67 for those born in April 1960 or later and a gradual increase to age 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born in April 1977 or later.

Eligible pensioners can receive a cold weather payment of £25 for every seven days of very cold weather.

Payments are made if the average temperature in an area is recorded or forecast at or below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days.

The cold weather payment program runs from November 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

This is a major contributor to fuel costs.

This allows retirees to receive cold weather payments before the freezing weather hits and be reassured that they have the extra money to pay for extra heating.

People don’t need to apply.

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If they are eligible, they will be paid automatically.

Cold weather payments do not affect other benefits.

After each period of very cold weather in an area, a person will receive payment within 14 working days.

It is paid into the same bank or building society account where the respective benefit payments are made.

It is important to inform the pensions service or Jobcentre Plus when you are admitted to a hospital, as this could affect the payment.

If a person objects to a decision being made about their eligibility for a cold weather payment, they can usually enter a formal process called a mandatory reconsideration.

If they still disagree with the subsequent decision, it is possible to appeal to an independent tribunal.

There have been around 13,000 payments so far this winter, made to around 11,000 eligible claimants.

The welfare scheme was set up in 1988 to financially support vulnerable people in the UK (excluding the North Island).

Temperatures predicted and observed by weather stations are used to determine which postcodes are eligible for payment.

Weather variability from year to year means that some seasons could potentially have bigger payouts than others.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a free service where people can check if their postcode meets the criteria for a cold weather payment.