While spring 2023 is fast approaching, winter isn’t out of the way just yet.
Nor is the cost of living crisis or high energy bills – often made more expensive by the need to stave off the January/February cold, perhaps by switching the central heating on more than usual.
As a result, you might be wondering if any cost of living-related payments are due to be paid this month.
Here’s a quick overview of what might be on its way – and if not automatically paid, how to check if you’re eligible.
All DWP cost of living payments available in February 2023
Cold Weather Payment
If your local area has experienced cold weather below zero degrees over seven consecutive days, you might be entitled to a £25 payment.
This scheme, called the Cold Weather Payment, runs from November 1 to March 31 each year – with payments landing in bank accounts 14 days after the period of cold weather.
It’s possible that you might be entitled to numerous payments over the winter months.
Eligibility depends on a number of factors, but if you receive any of the following and have specific circumstances (such as a child below a certain age or a disability), you may qualify:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest.
If you’re wondering if you might be eligible, find out more on gov.uk’s Cold Weather Payment page
And find out if it’s been cold enough for a payment to be due by checking your postcode here – whether you live in England or Wales.
Energy Bills Support Scheme
Thanks to the Energy Bills Support Scheme, most people in England, Scotland and Wales are entitled to money off their energy bill every month until March 2023.
So, anyone with a domestic electricity connection in all three countries will get £67 taken off their February 2023 energy bill.
In most cases, this gets paid directly to your energy company, so you don’t need to do anything to receive it.
If you pay by direct debit, it’ll automatically come off your bill, while anyone paying by credit card will find their account credited at the start of the month in the first week.
Smart prepayment meters will also be credited with the same amount in the first week of February.
However, if you pay your energy bill through a traditional prepayment meter, you may be issued the discount as a redeemable voucher via email, text or post – if it’s not an automatic credit when you top-up. Your energy company should have let you know how you’ll receive this.
Find out more about the Energy Bills Support Scheme on gov.uk.
There’s also a separate discount scheme for people in Northern Ireland, which is also detailed on the UK government website.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
While it’s not guaranteed to arrive in February 2023, soon eligible people will also receive a £150 payment from the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
However, it won’t be paid directly to individuals, rather it will automatically be applied to energy bills as another form of discount.
It’s available for people in England, Wales and Scotland, who are:
- In receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- On a low income with high energy costs (or, in Scotland, meet their energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme).
Those who are eligible should have received a letter by January 2023 explaining the discount.
Most people who qualify will receive it automatically, so no need to do anything. Unless your letter says you need to call the helpline to confirm your details. If so, you’ll need to do this by February 28.
The discount should be applied to your energy bill by March 31 at the latest.
Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme, and Northern Ireland’s alternative Affordable Warmth Scheme, on gov.uk.
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