It’s definitely beginning to feel a lot more like Christmas at the moment as temperatures have dropped below zero.
Unfortunately, that might mean you’re more reliant on your central heating at the moment which can be a worry with the current cost of energy.
However, help is at hand for people on certain benefits or receiving support for mortgage interest as it’s triggered what are known as Cold Weather Payments.
How it works is that you’ll get a payment of £25 if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for a seven-day period.
It’s the first time the payments aimed at helping households pay their energy bills during a cold snap have been activated this winter.
Those eligible include people in receipt of income support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, support for mortgage interest and Universal Credit.
If there are further cold spells, you will get the payment for each seven-day period of severe weather between now and 31 March 2023.
You don’t need to apply for a Cold Weather Payment as those eligible will receive it automatically.
If you think you’re eligible but don’t receive a payment, you should tell the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus.
Alternatively, if you’re getting Universal Credit, you should sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.
If you don’t have an online account, ring the Universal Credit helpline instead on 0800 328 5644.
You can also find out if the payments have been activated where you living using the UK Government’s online tool at coldweatherpayments.dwp.gov.uk
With further cold weather likely during the winter, support like this is definitely worth knowing about.