Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations: scrutiny report
The Scottish Commission on Social Security's scrutiny report on the Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations
- Document Cover
- Summary of recommendations and observations
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Context: disability benefits for young people
- 3. SCoSS’s report on the Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People draft regulations
- 4. Extension of eligibility criteria
- 5. Retrospective awards to young people in receipt of PIP
- 6. Payment to another person
- 7. Time limit for determination of entitlement
- 8. Adult claimants of CDP
- 9. Annex – Scrutiny timeline
The Scottish Commission on Social Security is pleased to present its scrutiny report on the draft Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 (hereafter the draft Regulations). These regulations make a number of amendments to the principal regulations: the Winter Heating Assistance for Children and Young People (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/352, hereafter the WHACYP Regulations).
The WHACYP Regulations introduced a form of social security assistance called Child Winter Heating Assistance (CWHA). This is an annual payment, of £200 at its introduction, made automatically early in the winter to every child or young person in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit. The qualifying benefits are currently the higher rate care component of disability living allowance (DLA) and the higher rate care component of child disability payment (CDP). To receive CWHA, the child or young person must be entitled to receive the qualifying benefit on at least one day during the qualifying week, which is the week beginning with the third Monday in September. CWHA is intended to provide additional help with heating costs during the winter months, since people in receipt of these qualifying benefits are presumed to require a higher ambient temperature in the home (23C in the living room as opposed to the normal 21C), for 24 hours a day, as entitlement depends on requiring care at night. The first awards were made in winter 2020-21.
The most significant effect of the draft Regulations will be to extend entitlement to CWHA to young people (aged 16 to 18) in receipt of the enhanced rate daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP). The Scottish Government estimates that this will mean an additional 3,900 young people become entitled to CWHA. Further changes will allow payment of a CWHA award to another person on behalf of the individual to whom the award is made and relax the deadline by which Social Security Scotland must make payments to those who receive an award.
This report is completed within the scope of SCoSS’s pre-legislative scrutiny role as set out in sections 22(1)(a) and 97 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. The draft Regulations were formally referred to SCoSS on 2 August 2021 by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robison MSP, with a request that we submit our report by 13 August (revised date agreed to report being 16 September. Our scrutiny timeline is summarized in Annex A.