Cold Weather payments

Older people may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment for each week of very cold weather if they get Pension Credits.

Cold Weather Payment are also available to those getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance who have a child under five years old or get one of the following:

a pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium
a disability premium or severe disability premium
a disabled child premium
Child Tax Credit that includes an individual element for a child or qualifying young person who is disabled or severely disabled.

Given how bitterly cold it has been over the past week, older people, disabled people and the parents of very young or disabled children might expect to receive the £25 Cold Weather payment this week. But they may be disappointed.

Before the payment is made the average temperature where you live has to be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days during the period from 1 November to 31 March.

Specified Meteorological Office weather stations are used to obtain this information.

The specified station for north Wales is in RAF Valley. RAF Valley is not in a frost trap, and is not on a hill, it is close to the sea and is subject to quite a lot of heat creating traffic. Temperatures plummeted to -12 on Monday night in Dolwyddelan, Capel Curig and Henllan, they didn't get close to that in RAF Valley. So despite the bitter cold over the past seven days older people, the disabled, and parents with very young or disabled children in north Wales are very unlikely to get the cold weather payment.

Most specified stations in Britain are in places least likely to suffer the worst extremities of the cold weather.

It seems a bit silly to me, to make a benefit available "on paper" but then to skew it in a way that makes it unlikely that it will ever be paid by using the least likely places to suffer seven days bellow freezing as the weather stations for activating the payment.

Indeed it would be better to abolish the cold weather payment benefit all together, rather than to continue to con the vulnerable into thinking that they can risk putting the heating up on the strength of a benefit that, in effect, is non existent.


  1. That's naughty of them. I blogged on this yesterday, and it's good to see that people on income support are theoretically entitled to something - but it's very naughty to use RAF Valley, as you say. Apart from anything else, it's a thousand feet lower than Snowdonia!

    We've had temperatures at that level for about the last fortnight - but I'm not quite sure where are nearest weather station is. Given that it may well be in Gloucester or Cheltenham, both of which are 500 feet below us and warmed by sea air coming up the Severn and Gloucester's remaining industry, I wonder if they'll try the same trick here?

  2. Cold weather payments are like all Benefit related payments ; subject to cynically calculated criteria to lessen the pay-outs and leave more in the kitty for MPs second homes, luxury furnishings, and "Fact Finding" trips to nice destinations with five star hotels. Will we see any fact-finding trips to Siberia to see how to cope with cold weather? Don't hold your breath!

  3. Is sacked Welsh blogger Christopher Glamorganshire's tribunal next week?

  4. Hmmm - so as a pensioner, I need to find a child under five years. OK.

  5. Sounds rather ridiculous!

  6. James Higham said...
    Hmmm - so as a pensioner, I need to find a child under five years. OK.
    I have found that trying to make them myself is an effective way of keeping warm in winter ;-)

  7. It is the same for Princetown on Dartmoor & all the other vilages on Dartmoor. The temperature reading for them is taken at Plymouth which is at sea level and is considerably warmer due to the size of the city, the large amout of traffic and the warming by the sea.
    Still, it saves tax payers money.

  8. This should be paid to all pensioners,not just the ones on benefit.I get £5 a week too much for the benefits and have everything to pay therefore far worse off,I told them to stick the £5 but they wont have it back !
    A pensioner is a pensioner there should be no difference we all feel the cold !

  9. Ripped off again . I wonder if bankers and MPs are feeling the cold .Still im sure bonuses and expenses will warm them up.

  10. Can anyonr tell me if there is info available on what wheather stations have triggered payments

  11. i think its ridiculous..my young son is disabled and gets nothing,he carnt get this as he is not getting the other benefits..shame for the pensioners that carnt get this either..

  12. I am disables and they have founs a way to make it it that they do not pay.I even have a post code that says i am due a payment.Still i never get one.

  13. put your post code here to see if a cold weather payment has been triggered

    cold weatherpayment

    >>find out if your area has received a cold weather payment<<
    look for the box that says put your post code here

  14. i think it is stupid putting a criteria on temperature as the old as well as the young feel the cold a lot worse especially if they cannot move around to keep warm i think when we get winters like we have now it should be payed without judgement

  15. This is a stipid system. All pensioners should get it. I am a pensioner with cancer but I will not get it because I paid into a private pension which give me a little money, which is taxed at 50%