Am I eligible for the new Winter Heating Payment in Scotland?

Frost on an area of grass and trees, with houses and blue sky in the background
See if you qualify and how much you can expect to receive. 

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 amount, 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 2023, the dates were between 6 and 12 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’:

  • Universal Credit

  • Pension Credit

  • Income Support

  • 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:

  • Disability Premium

  • Severe Disability Premium

  • Pensioner 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

  • Pensioner 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:

  • Disability Premium

  • Pensioner Premium

  • Child Disability Premium

  • Disability Element of Child Tax Credit

  • A child under five

You can use our benefits calculator to check what benefits you are entitled to.

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 payment will not affect any other benefits you’re currently receiving. 

When can I expect to receive my Winter Heating Payment?

Payments for winter 2023/24 landed between the middle of December and the end of January. 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 2024/25 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.

Further help

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