Pension Age Winter Heating Payment (PAWHP): consultation response

We are introducing Pension Age Winter Heating Payment (PAWHP) in winter 2024/25 as a like-for-like replacement for the UK Government’s Winter Fuel Payment. This document lays out the Scottish Government’s response to the PAWHP consultation.

Question 13: Qualifying Week

When introducing PAWHP to Social Security Scotland, we require a point in the year to establish entitlement, to ensure we receive the relevant data from DWP and can make automatic payments to clients. We currently intend to have a single qualifying week in September (beginning on the third Monday in September).

The majority of respondents agreed with our proposal to continue having the qualifying week in September (71% overall, 71% of individuals and 82% of organisations agreed with this approach). However, those who disagreed with the proposals instead suggested multiple qualifying weeks throughout the winter or that there should be no qualifying week and that eligibility should be assessed throughout the year. These were suggested primarily to address concerns that people who turn state pension age following the qualifying week in September but during the winter will miss out on support in that initial year.

A single qualifying week is the approach taken for both CWHP and WHP, which are similarly reliant on data sources from DWP. Similarly, a single qualifying week is already used by DWP to determine eligibility for WFP. Whilst using a qualifying week means someone may not receive support in their initial year of reaching the state pension age, there is a requirement for a qualifying week in which the entitlement of eligible recipients is identified for the winter period ahead.

Due to the reliance on DWP to provide details of eligible clients, the introduction of multiple points in time in which data would be required adds significant complexity, costs, increases the risk to delivery, and would require DWP agreement. It is likely to increase the administrative costs of delivery significantly within Social Security Scotland. We therefore do not intend to make any changes to the qualifying week for PAWHP.



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