Extra money for more than 14,000 disabled children.
Families of disabled children will receive a new heating benefit 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 Friday 27 November and these are expected to be complete by Friday 11 December.
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.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley Anne Somerville 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..
“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.”
- a client will qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance if they live in Scotland and were in receipt of the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children on at least one day between 21 September 2020 to 27 September 2020.
- families will get letters in advance to confirm to expect this payment. Payments will be made in batches from Monday 23 November and arrive in people’s banks approximately four days later. It is expected to take two weeks to complete all payments. This payment will be made to the same account that they receive Disability Assistance Living Allowance for Children payments to.
- families will get a payment for every child who receives the highest rate Disability Living Allowance for children. This is not a per household payment.
- if a family believes that they are eligible for this payment and they haven’t had a letter or a payment, they should contact Social Security Scotland from Tuesday 8 December for further advice.
- people can contact Social Security Scotland through web chat at mygov.scot/contact-social-security-scotland/ by calling the Freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222.
- while the pandemic continues to have an impact on our operations and our delivery partners - including health and social care and the Department for Work and Pensions - we are doing what we can to progress policy, design and development work. We are still working through what the impacts of COVID-19 mean for our delivery timeline and holding conversations with partners to establish what we can introduce and when.