In February 2023, Social Security Scotland expanded its range of benefits with the roll out of Winter Heating Payment. Any help toward the cost of staying warm right now has to be welcome news.
What is the Winter Heating Payment?
For people who live in Scotland, Winter Heating Payment is a new benefit which replaces Cold Weather Payment from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). However, one key difference is that those who qualify will receive a yearly £50, regardless of how cold it gets outside.
The Scottish Government estimated Winter Heating Payment would reach around 400,000 people in winter 2022/23, with payments made automatically to those in receipt of qualifying benefits.
Who is eligible for Winter Heating Payment?
To receive Winter Heating Payment you must live in Scotland, be in receipt of a qualifying benefit and receive funds from that benefit in a specific time period. In 2022, the dates were between 7 and 13 November (the ‘qualifying week’). You must also have one further specific requirement within your existing benefit(s). Read on below to find out what these requirements are.
Winter Heating Payment recipients must get one of the following benefits during the ‘qualifying week’:
Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income Related Employment Support Allowance
Support for Mortgage Interest
What are the Specific Requirements for Winter Heating Payment?
For those on Universal Credit (not in employment or self-employed) one of the following award elements is also required:
Limited Capability for Work
Limited Capability for Work with Work Related Activity
Child or Young Person Disability
A child under five
If you are employed, Winter Heating Payment eligibility requires a Child or Young Person disability element included within your Universal Credit award.
Recipients of Pension Credit should receive Winter Heating Payment automatically.
If you receive Child Disability Premium within your Income Support award or Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, you will qualify for Winter Heating Payment. Otherwise, your IS or JSA will need to include one of the following:
Severe Disability Premium
Disability element of Child Tax Credit
A child under 5
For those on Income Related Employment Support Allowance, Winter Heating Payment requires any of the following:
placed in a Support Group or Work Related Activity Group
Severe or Enhanced Disability Premium
Disability Element of Child Tax Credit
A child under five
If you are receiving Support for Mortgage Interest, you can expect to be eligible for Winter Heating Payment if you have any of the following:
Child Disability Premium
A child under five
How does the Winter Heating Payment work?
Unlike Cold Weather Payment (from DWP), Winter Heating Payment is not dependent on the temperature dropping below a certain level. It’s a yearly award, paid automatically into your bank account. The DWP and Social Security Scotland are working closely to ensure everyone eligible will receive the new payment automatically. The £50 payment will not affect any other benefits you’re currently receiving.
When can I expect to receive my Winter Heating Payment?
Payments for winter 2022/23 landed sometime in February 2023. You should have received a letter from Social Security Scotland before they processed your payment. Look for the reference code ‘WHP’ in your account transactions.
Payments for 2023–24 are still to be confirmed.
What should I do if I do not receive Winter Heating Payment automatically?
Contact Social Security Scotland if you believe you are eligible for Winter Heating Payment but have not received any payment or notification. Call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222. Opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
More information can be found here if you need help contacting Social Security Scotland, or are calling from abroad.
British Sign Language users can access the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video call.
For further advice and help with energy please visit gov.scot/costoflivingsupport