The Scottish Winter Heating Payment is a new Scottish Government benefit that replaces the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Cold Weather Payment. It can be claimed by eligible claimants on low incomes living in Scotland from 1 November 2022. The Cold Weather Payment is paid to eligible individuals on benefits in England and Wales. Northern Ireland runs a separate scheme which mirrors the Cold Weather Payment scheme in England and Wales.
The Scottish Winter Heating Payment is not linked to a sustained period of cold weather in a specific location but is a reliable annual £50 payment. The first winter payments to around 400,000 people were processed at the end of February.
Those eligible for the Scottish Winter Heating Payment will receive it automatically, with no need to apply. It is paid through Social Security Scotland and people will get a letter to let them know they are eligible.
The Minister for Social Security Scotland said:
'The Payment will reach significantly more people than the benefit it has replaced. On average only 185,000 people received the equivalent Cold Weather Payments from the UK Government over the last seven years – whereas we will pay everyone eligible every year.
The Scottish Government is investing around £20 million per year compared with an average of £8.3 million annually paid out through Cold Weather Payment. We will also uprate the next Winter Heating Payment by 10.1%, to £55.05.'