Social Justice

Here's when people in Scotland will get the winter heating payment in 2023 and 2024

This is everything you need to know about the winter heating payment which will be paid to eligible households by Social Security Scotland

winter heating payment

It's paid to people who are most likely to struggle to pay for heating in the coldest months. Image: Pexels

People in Scotland may receive a winter heating payment by January 2024 if they are struggling to afford to keep their home warm.

It is a £55.05 payment which is given to people on low-income benefits who might have extra heating needs.

The money is paid by Social Security Scotland and has replaced the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP’s) cold weather payment, for which Scottish households are no longer eligible.

Importantly, the payment will not impact your other other benefits payments like universal credit or the winter fuel payment.

Here is everything you need to know about the winter heating payment – including who gets it, when it will hit bank accounts, how to apply and what to do if you haven’t received yours yet.

Who is eligible for the winter heating payment?

There is a pretty specific eligibility criteria for the winter heating payment.

You have to be getting a qualifying benefit to get the payment. These are universal credit, pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), income-related employment and support allowance (ESA) or support for mortgage interest.

On top of getting the benefit, you also have to meet specific requirements within those benefits and you have to get the benefit within a qualifying week. This is the first full week of November (which this year was the week beginning 6 November).

If you get universal credit, you’ll also have to have one of the following: a limited capability for work element, a child or young person disability element or a child under the age of five.

For JSA, support for mortgage interest or income support, you’ll also need either: a disability premium, a child disability premium, a pensioner premium, the disability element of child tax credit or a child under five.

And if you get income-related ESA, it’s any of the following: severe or enhanced disability premium, pensioner premium, disability element of child tax credit or a child under five.

Find out more about whether you might be eligible here.

When will I get the winter heating payment?

Social Security Scotland started paying out the winter heating payment in the middle of December 2023.

It expects to have paid the majority of eligible people by the end of January 2024.

You should get a letter from Social Security Scotland telling you that you are due to get a payment before it actually hits your bank accounts, so you’ll have an idea of when yours will be received.



How do I apply for the winter heating payment?

You don’t have to apply for the winter heating payment. It will hit bank accounts automatically if you are eligible.

You’ll be able to tell that the payment has hit your bank account because it will have a reference code which includes the letters ‘WHP’ (standing for winter heating payment).

What do I do if my winter heating payment is missing?

If you haven’t received a winter heating payment by the end of January 2024 but think you should have done, you should contact Social Security Scotland.

You can call Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222 to request a winter heating payment. This number is open between Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

If you need help contacting them, or you’re phoning from abroad, find out what to do here.

For British Sign Language users, you can use the Contact Scotland service to reach them by video call.

You can also fill out a winter heating payment request form. Download it here and send it by post to Social Security Scotland, PO Box 10326, DUNDEE, DD1 9HB. You can also ring them to ask them to send you a form directly, such as if you don’t have access to a printer.

Local Delivery, a free Social Security Scotland service, can also help you with getting a payment.

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