Cold Weather Payment scheme starts today – are you eligible for a £25 cash boost?

Millions of pensioners and people on low incomes could qualify for an extra £25 a week from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help pay their energy bills.

British families have witnessed their bills rising in recent months as wholesale gas prices have been going through the roof.

This has meant that energy providers have had no choice but to vastly increase their prices, while many others have gone bust.

At the same time, some bill payers would have been automatically moved onto a Standard Variable Tariff in October meaning that they won’t be getting the best rate from their provider.

And, it’s not just energy that is putting a strain on people’s finances, the soaring price of food and petrol have also contributed to rising living costs.

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Those who should receive the extra help include people on Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or support for Mortgage Interest.

Conservative MP Baroness Stedman-Scott said this year it’s more important than ever that everyone who is eligible receives the payments.

“Winter can be a difficult time for people, and this year, it’s more important than ever to make sure those eligible for our Cold Weather Payment are receiving it to help keep homes warm as temperatures drop,” she said.

“You can check online to see if your area is due a payment so you can plan ahead.”

Those who are eligible shouldn’t have to do anything as they will be paid automatically.

However, if someone thinks that they should qualify but do not receive a payment, they are advised to tell their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office.

Anyone receiving Universal Credit, should sign into their account and add a note to their journal.

Meanwhile, it’s also worth checking whether people qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme – a £140 rebate on energy bills usually paid around March.

Pensioners born on or before September 26 1955, might also be entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment of up to £300.

When it comes to Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel payments, more information can be found on the government website.

However, the Warm Home Discount of £140 is paid by the individual energy supplier.

If someone hasn’t received it previously but their circumstances have changed it’s worth getting in touch with them to find out.

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