A number of people on the lowest incomes in parts of the UK could be set to receive a cash boost through cold weather payments.

The Government payments of £25 are triggered when temperatures are set to fall below freezing for seven consecutive days.

Eligible households in several postcodes in England will receive cold weather payments in the coming weeks as the Met Office and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued new cold-health alerts.

This is everything you need to know about the cold weather payments, and the new cold-health alerts.

Who is eligible for cold weather payments?

Cold weather payments are paid to eligible households in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

They can be paid to people between November 1 and March 31, with eligible homes receiving £25 for each seven-day period where the average temperature falls below 0C.

In order to qualify for cold weather payments, you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

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

Full eligibility criteria can be found here, and you can check if cold weather payments have been triggered in your area by entering your postcode here.

Cold-health alerts issued by the Met Office and UKHSA

The alert is in place until Tuesday, December 5, with average temperatures forecast to be less than 2C during that time.

The Met Office also forecast wintry showers, icy conditions and some snow for areas covered by the warnings over the next week.

Amber warnings have been issued in three English regions: the North East, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

While yellow warnings are in place in the East Midlands and the West Midlands.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “With a risk of widespread overnight frosts and some snow across the country this week, it’s important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.

Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time in, such as your living room or bedroom.”

What is an amber cold-health alert?

Under the new cold-health alert system introduced by UKHSA and the Met Office, an amber alert means that cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time, with potential for the whole population to be at risk and where other sectors may also start to observe impacts, indicating a coordinated response is required.

What is a yellow cold-health alert?

A yellow alert means that any impacts include the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65, those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and some other vulnerable groups, such as those sleeping rough.