Government figures obtained by Sir Menzies Campbell MP show that as many as 2,000 pensioners living in North East Fife could be missing out on receiving Cold Weather Payments triggered by the recent bad weather.
Cold Weather Payments of £25 a week are paid to people on low incomes who receive a qualifying benefit, such as Pension Credit. It is paid when temperatures are below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days.
Up to 1.7 million pensioners in the United Kingdom are missing payments worth an estimated £42.5 million.
Commenting, Sir Menzies said:
“During a period of extended bad weather Cold Weather Payments are a lifeline to people on low incomes who are already struggling to pay their usual heating bills. If pensioners are to heat their homes adequately during such periods, they must have the reassurance that they will be financially supported.
“In the short-term the Government must do all it can to identify those pensioners who qualify for this payment. In the long-term they must simplify the benefits system so that vulnerable people can more easily access the financial support due to them.”