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UK Benefit Guide

Scottish Heating and Cold Weather Payments


WINTER HEATING ASSISTANCE


Winter heating assistance will in the future replace the current UK-wide Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments in Scotland.

TIMELINE

June 2018
Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018.The Act makes provision for cold spell and winter heating assistance regulations


Winter 2020
Winter fuel payments to be extended to families with severely disabled children


November 2021
Winter heating assistance and cold spell heating assistance available from Social Security Scotland.
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. Some people on low incomes, such as older people, disabled people and families with young children are entitled to cold weather payments of £25 a week in freezing temperatures.

The Scottish Government is committed to extending winter fuel payments to families with severely disabled children (understood to mean under 18 and on the highest rate of the care component of DLA or the equivalent Scottish replacement), which it intends to put in law by April 2020. Currently, the qualifying conditions for the winter fuel payment must be met in the week beginning the third Monday in September, and payments are usually made by mid-November. The Scottish Government has also said that it wants to improve the way winter fuel payments are delivered, particularly in rural and island areas. It has no plans to change the qualifying conditions or amount of cold weather payments, but will consult on making the delivery more suitable to Scottish conditions.

Read more about the Scottish Government's position here.