Cold Weather Payments have been triggered for more than 280 postcode areas as the North of England is gripped by snow warnings.

Temperatures have plummeted to minus zero in many parts of the country, which means people on some benefits will now be eligible for a £25 payment to help them stay warm. The Cold Weather Payment scheme applies to people in England and Wales who receive a range of benefits.

Areas of Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Cumbria and the North East of England have now passed the threshold as weather stations recorded freezing temperatures in the last few days.

It is the first time Cold Weather Payments have been made for the 2023/24 winter season. You can see the areas which will be eligible for cold weather payments this week in our interactive map.

Last year more than 5.5 million Cold Weather Payments were made by the DWP. The DWP says those claiming the following benefits or financial help may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

However, there are a number of factors which will determine whether a payment will be made. For example, in some cases you may need to be getting extra money for children or a disability. Full details of those eligible are available on GOV.UK.

The DWP has not yet published a full list of postcode areas which have received the Cold Weather Payments this week. However, MPs have been notified of postcode areas which are eligible for the payments in their constituencies, and the affected areas can be seen in the DWP’s online search page.

The payments are triggered if average temperatures in an area have been recorded at, or are forecast to be, below freezing for seven consecutive days. Recipients will be automatically paid £25 for each seven day period of cold weather running across the winter period between November 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

This week the conditions have been met at several weather stations in the North of England, which cover over 280 postcode areas. The payments have been triggered because it is forecast to remain very cold for several more days.

According to the DWP Cold Weather Payments page, the affected areas include Albemarle weather station in Northumberland, which covers postcodes in Newcastle, Durham and the North East. Another weather station where the conditions have been met for the week from 28 November to 4 December is Rostherne weather station in Cheshire, which covers large parts of Greater Manchester.

Payments have also been triggered in areas covered by Rochdale weather station, affecting the north of Greater Manchester, and Bingley in West Yorkshire, which includes Bradford.

Eligible households should have the payment credited to their bank account within 14 days of the trigger. The money will appear in bank statements with the payment reference including the customer’s National Insurance number followed by ‘DWP CWP’ for people in England and Wales.

Minister for Pensions Paul Maynard said: “Cold Weather Payments provide much needed support to households when colder weather kicks in, so that families reduce anxiety about bills. This is part of our wider plan to help those who need it the most, while our number one priority remains driving down inflation – and helping everyone’s money go further”.