Pensioners miss cold weather payments
Filed under: Pensions
Those who do receive the benefit are automatically entitled to a Cold Weather Payment.
If average temperatures are recorded as or forecast to be zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days, then those who get Pension Credit are automatically entitled to a Cold Weather Payment of £25.
Those who aren't getting Pension Credit could be missing out on these payments - triggered in two thirds of the country after the cold snap - which provide vital reassurance that people can afford to turn up the heating as temperatures plummet below zero.
Over 3 million people have already benefited this winter, but the DWP say that around 4 million people are potentially eligible for Cold Weather Payments. Over half of these are pensioners who receive Pension Credit, but payments are also made to disabled adults and children, and families with children under five who receive an income-related benefit.
Pensions Minister Steve Webb said he was "very concerned" that so many people could be missing out on the cash: "During this cold snap it's even more important that people claim so they don't miss out on Cold Weather Payments.
The average weekly award of Pension Credit is £57 a week - that's almost £3,000 a year which could make a huge difference.
More help for older people
Most people over 60 will receive Winter Fuel Payments, which will be paid at the rate of £200 for households with someone who has reached women's State Pension age and is aged under 80 and £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over.
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