(Image: Getty Images/Maskot)
Thousands of low-income households in Scotland will receive a one-off payment of £50 to use on their energy bills this winter.
The new low-income winter heating assistance program will be available to around 400,000 households who receive certain benefits.
It will be mailed to eligible households in February next year and will replace the Cold Weather Payment, which is only paid out when the weather is cold enough.
Through the Cold Weather Payment scheme, households receive £25 for every seven-day period of sub-zero temperatures between 1 November and 31 March each year.
This means that the low-income winter heating support program pays double the amount compared to cold-weather payments, regardless of the temperature.
Cold Weather Payments are still available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Here’s what we know so far about the low-income winter heating support program.
Low Income Heating Assistance Scheme Explained
You are eligible for the Low Income Heating Assistance scheme if you live in Scotland and apply for:
Income-related unemployment benefit
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Mortgage rate support
As with current cold-weather payments, additional qualification criteria may be required to receive payment.
A “qualification week” has been set for November 2022, during which the government will determine who is eligible for the £50.
Payment is expected to be automatic, meaning you don’t have to request it.
Cold Weather Payments are deposited into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments, so it’s likely that this will work the same way.
The £50 is expected to be issued in February 2023, although an exact date or details on whether everyone will receive the money on the same day have not been confirmed.
The Scottish Government expects to spend £20million on low-income heating subsidies.
Social Security Secretary Ben Macpherson said: “Our new low-income winter heating support will provide around 400,000 eligible households, including pensioners and people with disabilities, with reliable payment each winter.
“This additional financial support from the Scottish Government will help at a time of rising energy bills and other living costs.
“Unlike current Cold Weather Payments, Winter Heating Assistance will support low-income people regardless of weather conditions or temperature levels where they live.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/thousands-low-income-households-50-27188089 Thousands of low-income households are being given £50 to help pay off energy bills - see who's getting it