This is how much Sheffield homes have already claimed in Cold Weather Payments

Last week's cold snap triggered an estimated £50 million ofcold weather payments - the highest figure of the winter.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 1:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 1:05 pm
Snow in Sheffield - Credit: Daniel Pyecroft

Nearly two million people across Britain were eligible for the money in the seven days to March 2, new figures show.

Some £7.2 million alone went to residents in the area covered by the Coleshill weather station, which includes Birmingham, Coventry and Dudley.

Snow in Sheffield - Credit: Hannah Moore

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A further £4.3 million was triggered for people in Doncaster and Sheffield, while £2.7 million went to residents covered by the Gravesend weather station, including Dartford, Romford and Southend-on-Sea.

In total, £90.7 million is estimated to have been paid out across Great Britain since the 2017/18 scheme began, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

This is well above the amount for 2016/17 (£3.1 million) and 2015/16 (£3.9 million), but still below the £141.7 million paid in 2012/13.

The payments kicked in across large parts of Sheffield earlier this month after the 'Beast from the East' hit.

Snow in Sheffield - Credit: Hannah Moore

The Government's scheme runs each year from November 1 to March 31.

Payments are triggered by data collected by the Met Office from 94 weather stations around Britain.

A sum of £25 is automatically paid to eligible people in every area where a weather station shows the average temperature has dropped, or is forecast to drop, to zero degrees Celsius or below for seven days in a row.

The money is paid to the recipient within 14 days.

Kit Malthouse, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said: "As we all experienced last week, extreme weather has the potential to cause a number of problems, but what cold weather shouldn't do is discourage anyone from turning up their heating to keep warm.

"With nearly £50 million paid out last week alone in cold weather payments, it's important the most vulnerable people are getting support when they need it most."

Anyone who believes they should have received a payment but hasn’t is advised to alert their pension centre or Jobcentre Plus.

The universal credit helpline on 0800 328 9344 can also be used. Check if a Cold Weather payment is due in your area by visiting coldweatherpayments.dwp.gov.uk.