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.