Child Winter Heating Assistance payments to start
Families of disabled children will receive a new heating benefit from the Scottish Government by Christmas.
The Child Winter Heating Assistance is a new £200 payment to help families of a child on the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for Children to heat their homes. There are more than 14,000 children expected to be eligible.
Payments will arrive with people from November 27 and these are expected to be complete by December 11.
People do not need to apply for this payment. It will be made automatically by Social Security Scotland using information provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. Families will get a letter in advance to confirm that they will be getting this payment.
This is the first form of disability assistance to be introduced by the Scottish Government using its new social security powers.
Shirley Anne Somerville, cabinet secretary for social security and older people, said: “As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop we will all be conscious of the extra cost to heat our homes. For families of the most seriously disabled children and young people, who may need to heat their homes for longer periods, this can bring even more pressure in what is already a challenging circumstance.
“I am so pleased that we have been able to introduce this payment before Christmas, ensuring people will have this money ahead of the coldest of the winter months. I hope this helps these families plan their finances and that they can turn the heating on without as much worry about how they are going to afford it.
“I am delighted that despite the impact of COVID-19, we’ve been able to move forward with three new benefits this year – Job Start Payment, Scottish Child Payment and now Child Winter Heating Assistance. This is the first disability assistance that we will deliver using our new social security powers.”
She added: “We are continuing to work with delivery partners to review the timeline for introduction of our remaining benefits and we will do everything we can to start these as soon as we can practically and safely do so.”