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Cold Weather Payments

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will take steps to reduce the time taken to make cold weather payments to (a) recipients who use prepayment meters and (b) other recipients of such payments. (310547)

The overwhelming majority of cold weather payments are paid automatically. When the Department for Work and Pensions is notified of a qualifying cold weather period a computer scan is run over the following weekend. Payments are made into customer's bank accounts on the following Wednesday. The only exception to this is where the Department is notified on a Friday. In these cases the scan will not be run on the weekend immediately following but will be picked up the next weekend. This is considered a reasonable period to prevent hardship.