DEBBIE Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, is encouraging people to check on their neighbours as freezing temperatures trigger emergency winter funding across the UK.
The current big freeze has triggered Cold Weather Payments as the temperature is predicted to hover around freezing for the rest of the week.
When the temperature falls below zero for seven consecutive days, people receiving certain social security payments such as pension credit are entitled to an extra ‘Cold Weather Payment’.
Mrs Abrahams, who is also Labour’s shadow secretary for work and pensions, said: “Extreme cold isn’t to be underestimated and it hits vulnerable people the hardest.
“It’s important that these extra funds are being made available to constituents to help them keep warm.
“No-one should ever have to choose between eating and heating, unfortunately we are seeing too many instances when people are finding themselves in this position.
“I also ask everyone to keep an eye on their neighbours, particularly anyone they know may be living alone or have inadequate heating, and spread the word about the Cold Weather Payments.”
Cold Weather Payments may be available if you receive: Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit.
Payments are made if the average temperature in the area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days.
A payment of £25 is made for each seven day period of very cold weather between the beginning of November and the end of March.
Those eligible will be paid automatically, and do not need to apply for the payment.
For more information visit: gov.uk/cold-weather-payment