More than £130 million was paid out in cold weather payments between November and March, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced.

DWP’s Cold Weather Payments are an automatic bank top-up of £25, triggered to be paid to eligible households when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to an eligible person’s postcode.

More than £40 million of the money was paid to pensioners in receipt of Pension Credit, with 80 per cent of payment being made in December.

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Minister for Pensions Laura Trott said: “Cold Weather Payments provide vital support to help people through cold snaps each Winter.

“While those colder months are now thankfully behind us, there will be no let-up in our extensive support for households across the country.

“This government is committed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. We’re delivering the biggest State Pension increase in history and boosting benefits by over 10 percent, while our Energy Price Guarantee will continue to hold down people’s energy bills.”

Those on Pension Credit will receive further support later this month, when the first DWP cost of living payment of the year is sent out.

More than 8 million people are eligible for the first cost of living payment, worth £301.

Two more payments, worth £300 and £299 will be sent out by the DWP later this year, with a £150 payment also being made to eligible disabled people, while £300 will be sent to pensioners later this year.

The £301 payment will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. The payment reference for bank accounts will be DWP COLP, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.

While payments will start on April 25, some eligible households may not receive the payment until May 17.

The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the upcoming Cost of Living payment are those who receive:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

The qualifying period for this payment is between 26 January and 25 February 2023.

To be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment, you need to have been entitled to a payment for one of these benefits between 26 January and 25 February 2023, or payment for an assessment period ending between these dates.

The DWP is also encouraging low-income pensioners not already getting Pension Credit to check their eligibility, as they can still qualify for the £301 Cost of Living Payment if they make a successful backdated Pension Credit application by 19 May.