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kevin
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The first of this winter's cold weather payments in NI has been triggered following the recent drop in temperatures.

A total of 52,000 people are to benefit from the £25 payment.

£1.3m will be paid to those who qualify in postcode areas covered by the Met Office's Castlederg, Glenanne and Katesbridge weather stations.

Minimum temperatures in NI on Monday night included -8.5C in Castlederg and -5.8C in Enniskillen.

The Department for Social Development said the postcode areas able to qualify for the payment were BT24-26, 30-35, 60-71, 78-79 and 81-82.

Only those qualifying customers living in these postcodes will receive the payment.

The department said they could expect to receive their payment on Wednesday.

Social Development minister, Alex Attwood, said: "This £25 payment is a help for people in need, especially at a time when they are facing uncertainty over how the UK government will support them in the future.

"As the temperature continues to fall it is important that we do all we can to make sure that those most in need in Northern Ireland are kept warm and comfortable in their homes."

The Social Security Agency will make the payments automatically to qualifying customers and there is no need to make a claim.

The cold weather payment is available when the average temperature is recorded or forecast to be zero degrees celsius, or below, for a period of seven consecutive days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11872593<

also refer http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-dsd-301110-52000-people-to<

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garry (not verified)
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just to let you know that cold weather payments have also now been triggered, in wales england and scotland, london has been issued one payment so far

John
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Just a quick note to thank you. Undertaking this is much better when we all "muck in".

anonymous (not verified)
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Cold weather payments to the poorest have been triggered as temperatures have plummeted across the UK.

The payments are made when temperatures are recorded as, or are forecast to be, zero degrees celsius over seven consecutive days.

Around four million people are potentially eligible for the payments of £25 per week.

But there are concerns that many could be missing out because they don't think they are eligible.

"Cold weather payments provide real help to the most vulnerable people," said pensions minister, Steve Webb.

"We don't want people to worry about turning up their heating when temperatures plummet."

Over two million older people in receipt of the Pension Credit will get the payment for each seven-day period of below-zero temperatures.

Payments are also made to disabled adults and children, and families with children under 5 who receive an income-related benefit.

People do not need to claim cold weather payments <as they are paid automatically to those who are entitled.

However, there are thousands of people who do not believe they are entitled to the means-tested benefits that they are connected to.

To read more http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11874988<

kevin
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and

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kevin
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Winter Fuel Payments are now being sent out to help more than 300,000 older people across Northern Ireland with their heating costs.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Minister for Social Development, Alex Attwood is encouraging anyone aged 60 or over, and who has not received a Winter Fuel Payment before, to check their entitlement.

Alex Attwood said: “While over 300,000 people will benefit from an automatic payment this year, there may also be people who are working who do not realise that they too are eligible.

“With the continued high cost of fuel, there is no doubt that some older people may have difficulty budgeting to heat their homes this year. This payment can make a significant difference and I would urge people not to miss out.

“I would encourage anyone who thinks that they may qualify for the payment to contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline to check if they can claim.”

Most households with someone born on or before 5 July 1950 are eligible for £250 towards their winter fuel bills. Households with someone aged 80 and over will receive £400. Payments will be paid automatically between now and January.

New customers, who haven’t claimed yet, still have time. If you haven’t got a form, don’t worry - you can either complete one online at:http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment<external link or call the helpline on 08459 15 15 15, (0845 601 5613 for textphone users). Claims must be received no later than 30 March 2011.

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kevin
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A total of £1.53million will be paid automatically to people who qualify for the payment and are living in affected postcode areas covered by the Met Office’s Aldergrove, Castlederg and Glenanne weather stations.

The postcode areas affected in the latest round of Cold Weather Payments are BT27-29, 35, 39-46, 60-71 and 78-82.

Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood, said: “The payments announced today bring the overall amount paid out to people across Northern Ireland so far this winter, to over £4million.

“People can expect to have their payment on, or around, Wednesday, 15 December 2010. The recent exceptionally cold weather is a reminder of the hardships facing vulnerable people in our society who have to keep a constant watch on the money they are paying out to keep their homes warm.”

Only those qualifying customers living in these postcodes will receive the £25 payment.

The Cold Weather Payment is available when the average temperature is recorded or forecast to be zero degrees Celsius, or below, for a period of seven consecutive days.

Notes to editors:

  1. To qualify for a Cold Weather Payment a person must be receiving:

    - State Pension Credit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (main phase) for at least one day in a period of cold weather; or
    - They or their partner must be in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (in the assessment phase) for at least one day in a period of cold weather and:
    - have a dependent child aged under five; or
    - have a relevant pensioner or disability premium; or
    - be entitled to Child Tax Credit for a child or qualifying young person who is disabled or severely disabled.

  2. Cold Weather Payments are triggered when the daily temperature is, or is forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below, for a period of seven consecutive days. The temperature measurement is made by seven meteorological stations located at Katesbridge, Aldergrove, Ballykelly, Castlederg, Glenanne, St.Angelo (Enniskillen) and Stormont.
  3. The payments are made automatically and people do not have to make a claim. Cold Weather Payments are, in addition to the Winter Fuel Payments of £250 and over, made to people born on or before 5 July 1950.

http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-dsd-091210-further-cold-weather<

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