Winter Heating Payment (Low Income) (Scotland): child rights and wellbeing impact assessment

This Child rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) sets out to assess the impact of the Winter Heating Payment on children and young people. It builds on, and should be read alongside the WHP Equality Impact Assessment.

Which articles of the UNCRC does this policy/measure impact on?

Article 2 – No discrimination

1. The introduction of Winter Heating Payment (WHP), previously named Low Income Winter Heating Assistance (LIWHA), will not discriminate against any child or young person. It is anticipated the effects will be broadly positive by ensuring families who are on low incomes[1] and who have a greater need for support because of their age, or because a person within the house has a disability or there is a child under the age of 5, receive additional support towards their heating bills.

Article 3 - Best interests of the child

2. Social security benefits in Scotland have been developed around the principles of dignity, fairness and respect, transparent decision making, a person centred approach and rooted in the belief that social security is a human right. WHP will have these principles embedded both in the policy and in the way in which the assistance is delivered. The WHP eligibility criteria ensures that the best interests of children of low income individuals, where they have a child under 5 in the family, or where they have qualifying benefits with premiums designed for individuals who are responsible for a disabled child, or where the child has parents with disabilities or are living with someone of pension age, are taken into account.

Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child

3. WHP has been developed through the Consultation on Low Income Winter Heating Assistance[2], including engagement with stakeholders that represent children’s views (Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, Save the Children, Family Fund, One Parent Family Scotland). Also through our Winter Heating Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group, as well as having feedback from those with lived experience of the benefit that WHP will be replacing (Cold Weather Payment (CWP)[3]) through our Social Security Experience Panels[4].

Article 23 – Children with disabilities

4. WHP eligibility criteria targets individuals in receipt of qualifying benefits with premiums which are for those responsible for disabled children and/or who are themselves disabled and are responsible for a child, to help these families meet the additional winter heating costs. This support will help disabled children and their families during the winter months.

Article 26 - Social security

5. We have engaged with individuals and stakeholders to consider the impact that WHP will have on those who previously received CWPs. We have taken an automated approach to ensure that, in the majority of cases, payments will be made to those who meet the eligibility criteria within the qualifying week, without the need for an application, reducing the burden on the client. This will ensure that payments continue to be made to those who need it most and by doing so we meet our underlying principles of dignity, fairness, and respect.

6. The key aim of the WHP is to provide targeted, reliable support to households with low incomes who are most in need with help towards their increased heating costs during the winter. By providing additional support to these individuals it will allow them to maintain warmer temperatures in their home during the winter, helping to provide an adequate standard of living.



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