People over State Pension age due up to £368 in extra payments before end of this year

Over one million State Pensioner households can expect to receive a series of extra payments worth up to £368.75 later this year from the Scottish Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). None of these payments are due to arrive until November at the earliest, but it’s important to be aware of how much to expect and when - especially as eligibility includes a qualifying week.

The biggest change this year for pensioner households in Scotland is the new lump sum replacing the annual Winter Fuel Payment, which is currently administered by the DWP. It is set to be replaced by the Pension Age Winter Heating Payment (PAWHP) and will be delivered by Social Security Scotland.

Winter Fuel Payments are usually made automatically to eligible households during November, December and January, to help State Pensioners cover the costs of higher heating bills. PAWHP will follow the same payment timetable as DWP and provide payments of up to £300 per person.

Eligibility for Winter Fuel Payments are linked to the State Pension age of people living in each household - over 60, or over 80 - and their circumstances - single, couple, both of same age, or mixed ages - during the September qualifying week - this is also expected to stay the same.

If you live with someone else who is eligible for the payment, the payment may be split between the two of you. Exactly how that is done depends on when you were born and what benefits you receive.

The guidance on GOV.ScOT explains that payment rates will be £100, £150, £200 or £300 for individuals, resulting in a typical household of two generally receiving £200 or £300 in total.

Household eligibility criteria for payment rates

Household Circumstances

Aged 66-79

Aged 80+

You qualify and live alone (or live with someone who does not qualify for PAWHP)



You qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies



You qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies



You qualify, live in residential care and you do not receive certain benefits (e.g. Pension Credit)



You qualify, live in residential care and you do receive certain benefits (e.g. Pension Credit)



People living in residential care

The eligibility for people living in residential care will follow the same rules as the Winter Fuel Payment. The guidance explains: “People who are living in residential care during the qualifying week, and the period of 12 weeks immediately before the qualifying week, do not qualify for the ‘full’ rate of Winter Fuel Payment.”

People in residential care who are not in receipt of specific benefits listed in the table are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment of either £100 if they are aged 66 to 79 or £150 if they are aged 80 or over - this will be the same rate for Pension Age Winter Heating Payment.

The guidance explains that this is because they share the accommodation with other people who are also entitled to the payment and are responsible for a share of the heating costs.

It adds: “Those who are living in residential care and receiving one of the specific benefits receive no payment.”

It explains: “This is because historically people living in a care home and in receipt of an income-related benefit have received public funding for their care and accommodation costs including heating through funding from the local authority.

“As this is still the case for the vast majority of people receiving Pension Credit, the WFP is not payable.”

Winter Heating Payment - £58.75 one-off payment

This devolved benefit is paid per person and is only available in Scotland and replaced the £25 Cold Weather Payment delivered by the DWP in winter 2022. Unlike the DWP benefit, it is not dependent on a sustained period of cold weather in a specific location but is an annual, one-off payment made no matter the temperature.

The payment rises each year in line with inflation and will be worth £58.75 this winter. The majority of payments were made last year during December, so expect the same again this year.

It is designed to help people on a low income or benefits who might have extra heating needs during the winter - this includes those on Pension Credit, Universal Credit and Income Support.

The qualifying period is usually a specific week in November which hasn’t been confirmed yet. More details about the Winter Heating Payment can be found on here.

DWP Christmas Bonus - £10

The bonus is a one-off, tax-free £10 payment made to people in receipt of State Pension or those claiming certain other benefits during the qualifying week - usually the first full week of December.

Nobody needs to apply for the extra £10 as it should automatically go into the account where you usually receive your State Pension or benefit payment. It is made as a separate payment, independent of your scheduled State Pension or benefit payment, so it may arrive on a different day.

Eligible benefits

  • Adult Disability Payment

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Carer’s Allowance

  • Carer Support Payment

  • Child Disability Payment

  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)

  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate

  • Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)

  • Mobility Supplement

  • Pension Credit - the guarantee element

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)

  • Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)

  • Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)

  • War Disablement Pension at State Pension age

  • War Widow’s Pension

  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance

  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance

  • Widow’s Pension

Find out more about the Christmas Bonus on GOV.UK here.