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Child Winter Heating Assistance

This advice applies to Scotland

What is Child Winter Heating Assistance

Child Winter Heating Assistance is an annual benefit payment for parents and carers to help with the costs of heating for disabled children and young people. It’s paid by Social Security Scotland.

The money doesn’t have to be used for heating. It can be used for any household costs.

How much is it

Child Winter Heating Assistance is a payment of £202 for an eligible child or young person in the household. It increased from £200 to £202 on 1 April 2021.

It’s paid once a year.

If you have more than 1 eligible child or young person in the household, they will each get the payment.

Who can get Child Winter Heating Assistance

You’ll get Child Winter Heating Assistance automatically if you:

  • live in Scotland
  • are under 19, and
  • are getting the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment on at least 1 day during the 'qualifying week'.

The qualifying week is the third week in September every year. Its 20 to 26 September for 2021. There's only 1 qualifying week every year, but it won’t be the same dates every year.

If you’re 18 in the qualifying week but haven’t yet moved onto Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from DLA, you can still get the payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions automatically tells Social Security Scotland who gets the highest rate of the care component of DLA for children in the qualifying week. You don’t need to apply, unless you live part of the year abroad.

You’ll receive a letter in advance telling you that you’re getting the payment. Read  more about Disability Living Allowance.

Find out more about Child Disability Payment.

If you live abroad in an EEA country with a temperature that is not higher than the UK

If you live abroad in Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country with an average temperature that is not higher than the UK's, but have lived in Scotland, and you got the highest rate of the care component of DLA for children or Child Disability Payment in the qualifying week you can apply for the Child Winter Heating Assistance.

The countries in the EEA are listed on the UK government website. Countries that have a higher average temperature than the UK are France, Greece, Portugal and Spain. If you live in one of those countries you are not eligible for the Child Winter Heating Assistance.

You would have to provide evidence of the strong link to Scotland, for example, that you have lived in Scotland for a significant period.

You would not receive the Child Winter Heating Assistance automatically.

You can apply using the application form on mygov.scot or by contacting Social Security Scotland by phone on +44 (0)1382 93100.

You should send the completed application form to:

Child Winter Heating Assistance
PO BOX 10317
Dundee
DD1 9GR

How is Child Winter Heating Assistance paid

You’ll get the payment during winter, when heating costs are higher. It’s paid directly into the same bank account that you asked for DLA for children or Child Disability Payment to be paid into.

This may be the bank account of a parent or carer who acts on behalf of the child or young person.

Payments are sent out at the end of November each year. The payment should be in your bank account by the second week of December.

If you don’t get the Child Winter Heating Assistance

If you were expecting to get the Child Winter Heating Assistance automatically but don’t get it you should contact Social Security Scotland to check if there has been a mistake.

You might not have got the payment because:

  • your details weren’t passed to Social Security Scotland by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • you weren’t getting the highest rate of care component of DLA or Child Disability Payment in the qualifying week
  • Social Security Scotland do not think you are eligible but you can ask for the decision to be  looked at again. This is called a re-determination.

If you start getting the highest rate of care component of DLA or Child Disability Payment after the qualifying week

If you start getting the highest rate of care component of DLA or Child Disability Payment after the qualifying week and it is backdated to include the qualifying week, you can apply for the Child Winter Heating Assistance. 

You will have to apply using the application form on mygov.scot.

You can get help from an advocate to apply. You can ask for an advocate by contacting Social Security Scotland and asking for the Independent Advocacy Service.

If a child or young person was in residential care in the qualifying week you should still get the Child Winter Heating Assistance automatically.

If you’re refused the higher care component of DLA for children you can ask the DWP to review their decision.

If you're refused the higher care component of Child Disability Payment, you can ask Social Security Scotland to review their decision.

You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

If a tribunal awards you the highest rate of care component of DLA or Child Disability Payment after the qualifying week for Child Winter Heating Assistance

If a Tribunal decides you should get the higher level of care component of DLA for children or Child Disability Payment, you can apply for the Child Winter Heating Assistance.

You'll only be eligible to apply if your payment of DLA for children or Child Disability Payment is backdated to the first day of the qualifying week or earlier. 

There is an application form on mygov.scot.

You can get help from an advocate to apply. You can ask for an advocate by contacting Social Security Scotland and asking for the Independent Advocacy Service.

You want Social Security Scotland to look again at their decision not to pay you the Child Winter Heating Assistance

If you are refused the Child Winter Heating Assistance you can ask for your application to be looked at again – this is called a re-determination.

You can ask for this up to 42 days after the day you’re told by Social Security Scotland you aren't getting the payment.

If you miss this deadline for a good reason, for example you were very ill, Social Security Scotland might still allow you to request a re-determination.

You should get an answer within 16 days of your request. Read more about challenging Social Security Scotland.

If you’re paid Child Winter Heating Assistance by mistake

If you're paid by mistake or you're paid too much money, you might have to pay the money back to Social Security Scotland.

It will get in touch with you and discuss how you might pay the money back. It will take your financial circumstances into consideration. Find out more about Overpayments of Scottish Benefits.

Will Child Winter Heating Assistance affect other benefits

Getting Child Winter Heating Assistance shouldn't affect your other benefits.

If you get Universal Credit, a Child Winter Heating Assistance payment won't be counted as savings for 52 weeks. This means if you spend the payment before you get the next one, it shouldn't affect your Universal Credit claim.

If you apply for council tax reduction, Child Winter Heating Assistance shouldn't be taken into account as income.

More information about Child Winter Heating Assistance

There is more information about Child Winter Heating Assistance on mygov.scot.

How to contact Social Security Scotland

Social Security Scotland 
General Enquiries
PO Box 10301
Dundee
DD1 9FW

Phone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
British Sign Language: contactSCOTLAND app by video relay
Website: www.mygov.scot

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