Residents of Highland Perthshire are set to benefit from the new winter Heating Assistance payment introduced by the Scottish government that will be replacing the cold weather payment.
The Winter Heating Assistance will be supporting 400,000 low-income households, giving them £50 for the first time in February 2023.
Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said “Our new Low Income Winter Heating Assistance benefit will provide a reliable payment every winter to around 400,000 eligible households, including pensioners and disabled people. This extra financial support from the Scottish Government will help at this time of rising energy bills and other cost of living pressures.
“Unlike the current Cold Weather Payments, Low Income Winter Heating Assistance will provide support to people irrespective of weather conditions or temperature levels where they live. It will be our thirteenth devolved benefit and will only be available in Scotland. It will also be an automatic payment to all those who are eligible, so there is no need to apply.”
The UK cold weather payment that is being replaced by the new benefit would only trigger the payment after a “cold spell” requirement is met, this would require the temperature to drop below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days in a specific area.
The Scottish governments will be investing £20 million in the winter heating assistance, which should provide a payment every winter to help with the energy bills.
Mr Macpherson said “Our £20 million annual investment will be a significant increase in support to around 400,000 households – compared with only £325,000 and 11,000 payments made by the UK Government in Cold Weather Payments in Scotland in winter 21-22.
“Making payments in February for the first year of Low Income Winter Heating Assistance will ensure a smooth transition from the UK scheme. We will explore the feasibility of bringing forward the payment date to earlier in winter in future years.”