The Scottish Government has laid legislation in Parliament that will lead to increased support for more than 19,400 children and young people to help their families heat their homes this winter.
The legislation extends the eligibility for the Child Winter Heating Assistance, launched last year, to young people aged 16 to 18 who receive the enhanced daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Child Winter Heating Assistance is an annual payment of £202 to help families of a child or young person on certain disability benefits to heat their homes during the winter months and is already available to those in receipt of the highest rated care component of the Disability Living Allowance.
If the legislation is passed, an additional 5,000 families will receive the payments.
More than 14,000 payments worth a combined £2.8 million were made between November and mid-March under the scheme.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “This extra money helps families of seriously disabled children and young people with the additional costs associated with heating their homes for longer periods.
“The Child Winter Heating Assistance is one of seven brand new benefits we have used using social security powers. I’m pleased that by extending eligibility, more than 5,000 more families will benefit from this £202 payment during the colder months.
“Getting this money to families automatically in winter will help them budget and balance the many financial pressures that they can face at this time of year.”