Cost of Living payment updates — Universal Credit and benefits claimants to get Xmas bonus today; plus money-saving tips

How do I apply for the cold weather payment?

You do not need to apply to the scheme, as cash is automatically sent within a two working weeks to anyone eligible.

If you don’t receive a payment but believe you’re eligible, contact your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office.

Alternatively, call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

If you’re getting Universal Credit, you can also sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

When temperatures plummet, you can check if your area is due a cold weather payment by typing your postcode into the government’s tool on its website.

Top tips to save money on your heating

You may not be aware that by using “vampire settings” you could save £850 on your energy bills.

Here are some different ways to save:

  • Thermostat – £380 Reducing your thermostat by one degree can reduce your fuel bill by 10%, according to Energy Saving Trust
  • Dishwasher – £143 Running your dishwasher at a lower temperature such as 45ºC to 50ºC can save you more that £100
  • Boiler – £112 Changing the flow temperatures on combination boilers, according to charity, Nesta means you can save an average of £112 per year
  • Radiator – £75 The average household can save up to £75 every year if they have thermostatic radiator valves fitted on all their radiators, according to British Gas
  • Tumble Dryer – £53 Tumble dryers can cost around 67p per cycle but most models come with an eco-mode that can be used to save the environment – and some cash
  • Fridge Freezer – £50 The Food Standards Agency recommend that the temperature of fridges be set to 5°C and freezers should be at -18°C. Having it set at the optimum temperature is also better for your wallet
  • Washing Machines – £37 Most models of washing machine come with an eco-mode that can be used to save some money

What other money can I get this Christmas?

It comes as millions of households on Universal Credit could get thousands in extra cash – here’s how.

The Warm Home Discount is a £150 discount off energy bills, and payments usually begin in October.

You get the payment automatically if your electricity supplier is part of the scheme and you qualify.

Anyone born on or before September 25, 1957, could get an up to £600 payment this winter via a Winter Fuel payment.

Most people who are eligible get it automatically like if you receive state pension.


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