10/01/2003

Cold weather payments bring a warm front

Thousands of people in the West and North West of Northern Ireland are to receive a Cold Weather Payment of £8.50 following the extremely low temperatures recorded over the last week.

Announcing the measure, a spokesperson for the Department for Social Development said the payment was triggered by information from the Meteorological Office at Castlederg, which covers the West and North West, indicating sub-zero temperatures over a seven-day period.

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

“The Cold Weather Payments will be made during week commencing 20 January 2003 and are additional to the Winter Fuel Payment that was paid before Christmas to people aged over 60 years," the statement added.

The areas affected include Castlederg, Magherafelt, Maghera, Dungiven, Londonderry, Castlecaulfield, Omagh, Cookstown, Strabane and Dungannon.

(MB)

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