Cold Weather Payment 2020: DWP explains how triggers and payments are determined
COLD WEATHER PAYMENT season is this year running from November 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. If a payment is triggered, it could provide a welcome form of financial support during periods of very cold weather to those eligible.
Cold Weather Payments: Guide to government-run scheme
The Cold Weather Payment is something which a person who gets certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest may be able to get. If the average temperature in an area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven days in a row, the eligible person can get the payment
The amount is £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather during the Cold Weather Payment season.
It should be paid automatically, however it is possible to check to see whether there has been any triggers in the area online.
This can be done via the Cold Weather Payment postcode checker on the government website.
The tool requires the user to submit the first part of their postcode, then press continue.
Cold Weather Payment 2020: The Cold Weather Payments season is underway
Should there have been any Cold Wether Payments due during the most recent scheme, these should then show up.
Official Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics show there has not been any triggers since the start of the 2020/2021 scheme up to the week ending December 11, 2020.
The Cold Weather Payment scheme falls under the responsibility of the DWP, and is support by the Met Office.
The DWP has shared some insight into how the payments are determined.
In a document titled Background and methodology: Cold Weather Payment estimates, available on the government website, it explains the scheme links postcode districts to weather stations reporting to the Met Office on a daily basis.
“The Met Office takes account of topography, the extent of built-up areas and the distance from available weather stations,” it adds.
“Each postcode district is assigned to a weather station with the most similar climate in terms of 1981-2010 average winter temperature.”
The final postcode listings are then agreed by the DWP, and this postcode to weather station mapping is used throughout the Cold Weather Payment season.
Cold Weather Payment: Universal Credit claimants are among those who may be eligible for the payment
It is not reviewed further until the following year.
Each day throughout the Cold Weather Payment season, the Met Office records the average daily temperature from each of the 95 Weather Stations.
The Met Office then uses the daily averages from the previous seven days to produce a single seven day average covering the last seven days.
It also forecasts what the seven day average will be over the next seven days.
This information is used by the DWP to determine whether any weather stations have “triggered” a Cold Weather Payment.
The document adds: “This will be the case if the recorded or forecasted 7 day average temperature is zero degrees celsius or below and there are no overlapping periods for which a Cold Weather Payment has already been made.”
Should there be a trigger, the information on the location of that particular trigger is entered into the relevant benefit systems.
Then, a payment of £25 will be automatically issued to any eligible person who lives in the area that is covered by the weather stations.
This payment should be received within 14 days.
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