Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the moves to extend Winter Heating Assistance in the challenging context of COVID19 which has resulted in delays to wider measures on disability assistance. We recommend the draft regulations are amended to better meet the policy intention and add clarity in a number of areas.
In particular, we recommend:
- Young people in Scotland in receipt of the Enhanced Rate of the Daily Living component of PIP between the ages of 16 and 18 should be considered eligible for CWHA on an equal basis as children and young people in receipt of the High Rate Care component of DLA.
- Making the qualifying period 1 October to 31 March, to align it more closely with regulated gas and electricity supply industry initiatives.
- Making the qualifying week the 7 days beginning 1 October each year.
- Stipulating that the payment must be made within a given period of the qualifying date or the first date on which an individual becomes eligible.
- Clarifying who payments should be made to, and providing a mechanism for resolving disputes over whom they should be made to.