Winter Heating Payments begin
Money to help with heating costs is on its way to around 400,000 people on low incomes. Winter Heating Payment is paid in batches to eligible clients, with the first payments going out this week. The majority of people will receive their payment by the end of January 2024.
This annual payment of £55.05 targets low-income households that have additional need for heat, including households with young children, disabled people and older people, providing stable, reliable support every winter.
Winter Heating Payment was first paid in winter 2022-2023 and replaces the DWP Cold Weather Payment. Unlike the DWP benefit that was reliant on the weather being sufficiently cold for a sustained period of time, Winter Heating Payment guarantees that everyone who is eligible will receive a payment every year, no matter the weather.
The majority of people eligible for Winter Heating Payment who were already getting qualifying benefits during the week of 6- 12 November will get it automatically, with no need to apply. It is paid through Social Security Scotland and people will get a letter to let them know they are eligible.
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“We are investing around £22 million this winter through Winter Heating Payments to support 400,000 people on low incomes across the country at a time when they are struggling with the cost of living crisis and higher energy bills.
“Winter Heating Payment guarantees that everyone eligible will get a payment every year, rather than the UK Government approach of requiring the weather being sufficiently cold for a sustained period of time.
“Our annual, reliable payment will support people on low incomes with the costs of heating their homes throughout the winter, we know it is harder for these households to spend more money to heat their homes.
“The vast majority of people will receive the payment automatically either this month or next.”
The UK Government’s Cold Weather Payments triggers a £25 payment only when the average of the mean daily temperature recorded for 7 consecutive days was equal to or below zero degrees. In contrast, our Winter Heating Payment provides reliable financial support through an automatic £55.05 payment, no matter the weather.
An individual may be eligible to receive Winter Heating Payment if they get any of the following benefits: Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest.
As with the UK Government’s Cold Weather Payments, extra qualifying criteria for some of these benefits may also need to be met, for example in relation to disability premiums paid to the client or if a disabled or young child is in their household.