Social Security experience panels: cold spell and winter fuel payment – report

Findings from research with Social Security experience panels members on the new cold spell heating assistance and winter heating assistance.


The Scottish Government is becoming responsible for some of the benefits currently delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions. As part of the work to prepare for this change, the Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels. Over 2,400 people from across Scotland who have recent experience of at least one of the benefits coming to Scotland registered as Experience Panel members during the launch in 2017.

The Scottish Government is working with Experience Panel members to design a new social security system that works for the people of Scotland.

From 3 February 2020 to 2 March 2020 Scottish Government researchers conducted a survey to help design the new Cold Spell Heating Assistance and Winter Heating Assistance for Social Security Scotland. This report outlines the findings from this survey. All quotes are from panel members taken from the survey responses.

The survey asked about people's experience of Cold Weather Payment and Winter Fuel Payment in the current benefits system. It also asked about their experience of accessing information and support to heat their home, the impact this has on their personal finances, and how this could be improved.



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