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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Beating the cold

With the cold spell due to continue for some time it is likely that eligibility for cold weather payments will kick in. As set out here these payments are made to those in receipt of Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit. If you get Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) during the assessment phase or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you must also receive a pensioner or disability premium or have a child who is disabled or under the age of five.

Cold Weather Payments are made when the average temperature for an area is recorded as 0° Celsius (freezing point) or below over seven consecutive days. They are also made when the Meteorological Office forecasts such a spell of cold weather. Payment will be made in the same way as people's benefit/entitlement and will be sent out automatically to those who qualify.

What seems to be crucial in this process is the position of the Met Office's climate stations and this is where those living in my South Wales West region may be disadvantaged. There are in fact two such stations in this region at Mumbles Head and Penmaen.

This means that people living at the top of the Swansea, Neath, Dulais, Garw, Afan and Llynfi valleys as well as those in more remote areas do not qualify for the payment unless the temperature drops consistently to zero or below many miles south of them on the coast. It is normally the case that it is warmer by the sea than further inland so there is a clear disadvantage to those living in some of the coldest areas.

Some clarification on how these things are determined might be in order so as to ensure that the system operates in a fair manner to all concerned.
... and a spare thought for those of us who are working, and therefore have to get up in the cold and slog into work in the snow in order to pay for the extra payments for everyone else might be appreciated too!
Indeed, I have come to Cardiff to work today. However, many of those entitled to these payments cannot work through no fault of their own.
Agree with you Peter, yesterday it was 0ºC in Bridgend, but a chilly minus 3ºC in Maesteg; the weather stations which are located close to the sea in "Glamorgan" gives no real reflection on the temperature in sheltered valley communities.

I expect there will be another "cull" of old people, with this cold weather.
That grisly thought came to me,too; the cold weather could ease the government's deficit by eliminating more pensioners than usual. ;-(
For twenty nine years i worked all over the country, then one day in 1990 I suffered a massive fall, which left me a paraplegic.

I paid my tax working through the good years of Thatcher and then Major I even returned to work in a wheelchair for a year until the company decided I could not do enough and I was sacked.

The problem is with people who say I walked to work in the Snow to pay these benefits to others, while your walking to work a piss up driver or an idiot might well hit you, you might just slip fall hit your head and your life is over accidents happen.

I've just been told we will not get the extra money for heating because the weather for the day time has risen about the lowest level right now it's 1.5 C

I have never had the extra payments ever, that why labour ensures the weather is so low to get it.

But for those that think it will never happen to them, thats what I thought
Good post Peter, I can tell you that yesterday it was -1 in Cardigan town but twenty mins later and 18 miles into the hills it was -4, a big difference, correct observation about ositioning of weather stations
I just want to take this opportunity for an update on the situation in Upland West Wales; the minor roads are snow and ice covered, cars cannot get in or out in smaller villages, the elderly in particular are at risk, even Tesco delivery van has got stuck and the tyres do not have the traction for icy conditions. Its all hands on deck time and if there is elderly or vulnerable people , maybe check they have enough provisions
Hi there
We have a son who is severely disabled, he has an extremely rare chromosome disorder. We have had to keep the heating way up to keep him nice and warm and well. The information I have read gives telephone numbers for pensioners and for jobseekers or those on income support to contact if they have not received the cold weather payment but there seems to be no contact details for parents with disabled children to query the payment.

I have given up a well paid job to look after my son and home educate him (my own choice after seeing what was available from our LEA). He is doing really well against all odds but it would be lovely to receive this extra payment.


Mrs Bancroft
If you live in my region e-mail me directly with your details at peter.black@wales.gov.uk
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