Overview of winter heating assistance
Under the current UK Government scheme, people over pension age are entitled to winter fuel payments. This is a lump sum of £200 (or £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over), paid automatically every winter to help with fuel bills, regardless of income. Cold weather payments of £25 a week are made during freezing temperatures to some people on low income benefits, such as older people, disabled people and families with young children. The Scottish Government will deliver these payments from November 2022. It has no plans to change the qualifying conditions or amount of cold weather payments, but it has also said that it wants to improve the way winter fuel payments are delivered, particularly in rural and island areas and will consult on making the delivery more suitable to Scottish conditions.
The Scottish Government introduced a new child winter heating assistance payment in 2020. This is an annual payment of £202. This is paid automatically by Social Security Scotland to all families with a severely disabled child, aged 18 or under and receiving the highest rate of the care component of disability living allowance (DLA), regardless of other income, savings or benefits. The £202 payment is payable for each severely disabled child who is resident in Scotland and entitled to DLA on at least one day in the 'qualifying week', which is week beginning on the third Monday in September (20 to 26 September in 2021). If DLA is awarded later but backdated to cover this date, child winter heating assistance is payable. Payments are made in November, usually into the same account into which DLA is paid.
There is usually no requirement to make an application for child winter heating assistance. If you think you are eligible but have not received a payment mid-December, contact Social Security Scotland. If you are unhappy with a decision about child winter heating assistance, you can request a redetermination within 42 days, or later with good reason. Social Security Scotland is allowed 16 working days to make a re-determination, after which you have the right to appeal. Read our information on redeterminations.