RECENT freezing temperatures have triggered Cold Weather Payments across the Wee County.

People receiving certain benefits - like Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest – can in some circumstances claim £25 a week from the UK government.

The money is paid if the average temperature in the area is recorded as zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.

Depending on where residents live, they could now claim for a week or two under the scheme.

The majority of Clackmannanshire, under the FK10 postcode, is due one payment for the period between January 28 and February 3.

Folks from the Hillfoots stretch with postcodes FK11, FK12, FK13 and FK14 are eligible for an extra week on top for the seven days between January 18 and 24.

That is because the weather stations used to determine the temperatures differ across the county.

Areas south of the Hillfoots come under Edinburgh’s Gogarbank weather station, while the rest are based off measurements taken at Strathallan Airfield.

There should be no need to claim the one-off payments as those eligible should automatically receive it.

For recipients of Universal Credit, the payment triggers if the claimant either has a health condition or disability and have limited capability for work or if a child under the age of five also resides in the home.

Those claiming UC for a disabled child are also eligible, whether they are employed or not.

MP Luke Graham was keen to highlight the Cold Weather Payments and said: “Cold Weather Payments are from central government and designed to support those most in need, when temperature drop for a consistent period.”