Child Winter Heating Assistance is an annual payment of £202 to help families of a child or young person on certain disability benefits to heat their homes during the winter months. It is already available to those in receipt of the highest rated care component of Disability Living Allowance.

The legislation extends the eligibility for the Child Winter Heating assistance to young people aged 16 to 18 in receipt of the enhanced daily living component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has welcomed the legislation which will lead to increased vital support to more than 19,400 children and young people to help their families heat their homes this winter has been laid in the Scottish Parliament. If the legislation is passed, 5,000 additional families will receive the payments, which will also be backdated to last year when the payment was introduced.

The South Scotland MSP has also said that this adds to the tale of 2 Government’s. The one in Scotland working to support and protect the most vulnerable in our society, and the one in Westminster intent on cutting money from people in the midst of a global pandemic, the recent announcement of a £20 per week cut to Universal Credit being just one example.

Commenting Ms Harper said;

“This extra money helps families of seriously disabled children and young people with the additional costs associated with heating their homes for longer periods, particularly as we are set for a particularly cold winter.

“The Child Winter Heating Assistance is one of seven brand new benefits we have used using social security powers. I’m pleased that by extending eligibility, more than 5,000 more families will benefit from this £202 payment during the colder months.

“Getting this money to families automatically in winter will help them budget and balance the many financial pressures that they can face at this time of year.”

· the Child Winter Heating assistance was launched last year, and more than 14,000 payments worth a combined £2.8 million were made between November and mid-March

· people do not need to apply as the payment will be made automatically by Social Security Scotland. Families will receive a letter of confirmation to coincide with the payment being made

· to qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance, people need to be aged 18 or under, and receive the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children, receive the highest rate care component of Child Disability Payment, or be in receipt of the enhanced daily living component of PIP on at least one day between 20 September 2021 to 26 September 2021

· this year’s Child Winter Heating Assistance payments will start from the end of November and payments will be made in batches over the winter months

· this payment will be made automatically to the same account that people receive their Disability Assistance Living Allowance for children, Child Disability Payment or Personal Independence Payment payments to

· for more information, contact Social Security Scotland through web chat at mygov.scot/contact-social-security-scotland or call the freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222