04/03/2004

Cold weather payments triggered by winter freeze

Around 36,000 people in Mid Ulster and south east Down are to receive a Cold Weather Payment, following the recent cold spell over the last week.

The Department for Social Development said the payment was triggered by information from the Met Office at Katesbridge, measuring sub-zero temperatures over a seven-day period from 24 February to 1 March 2004.

Those in the areas affected do not need to make a claim for the £8.50 payment as it will be paid automatically by the Social Security Agency to people on Income Support, Pension Credit and Income-based JobSeeker’s Allowance who are in the qualifying groups.

The Cold Weather Payments will be made during the week commencing 8 March and are additional to the Winter Fuel Payments of £200 and over, made to people aged over 60 years.

The following postal areas of Northern Ireland were affected by the cold spell: BT24–28, BT30– 5, BT60–68 and BT71. Areas include Hillsborough, Lisburn, Downpatrick, Banbridge, Newcastle, Armagh, Portadown, and Dungannon.

(MB)

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