Cold spell triggers fuel payments for vulnerable Weston people

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By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, January 26, 2013, 09:35

North Somerset councillor Mike Bell has welcomed news that the Government's 'cold weather payment' has been triggered in Weston-super-Mare – meaning that many local people will receive extra money towards their fuel bills.

The payment is a fixed amount for each week of cold weather. 

For many years this was set at £8.50 per week. 

The Coalition Government increased the rate to £25. 

Last year – the winter of 2011-12 – 5.2 million individual payments were made totalling£129.2 million.

Cold weather payments are triggered when the local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of 0 degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

Payments are made automatically to those residents in receipt of eligible benefits including Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Mr Bell said: "I'm pleased that during these really cold periods, the Coalition Government is giving vulnerable residents extra money to cover the cost of their energy bills.

"Payments are made automatically to those entitled to them. 

"Locals should contact their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office if they think they should have received a Cold Weather Payment but haven't had one."

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