Northern Ireland cold weather payments sent by first class post

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Cold weather payments are being sent by priority post to make sure people receive them before Christmas.

The payments are due to reach customers across Northern Ireland by about the 22 December.

In anticipation of a busy week for postal deliveries, the Social Security Agency has made special arrangements for all payments made by cheque to be issued via first class post.

Payments will be automatically sent to those who qualify.

Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood, said the latest disbursement would bring this winter's total pay out so far to £9.2m.

"With arctic conditions set to take hold again in the coming days, it will be a relief to many to hear that they will be getting extra money to help keep their homes warm. The latest payments are being made to all parts of Northern Ireland," he said.

"People who receive their payment directly to their bank/building society or Post Office card account can expect to have their payment on, or around, Wednesday 22 December 2010. Every effort is being made by my officials in the Social Security Agency to ensure that those who receive their payments by cheque receive it before Christmas."

The cold weather payment is issued when the average temperature is recorded or forecast to be zero degrees celsius, or below, for a period of seven consecutive days and is in addition to winter fuel payments.

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