Families of disabled children will receive a new winter heating benefit, with a new £200 payment.

The Child Winter Heating Assistance will help families on the highest rate care payment of the Disability Living Allowance - aimed at helping families heat their homes this winter.

There are more than 14,000 children expected to be eligible for the payment which are expected to start on November 27 and be completed by December 11.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop we will all be conscious of the extra cost to heat our homes.

“For families of the most seriously disabled children and young people, who may need to heat their homes for longer periods, this can bring even more pressure in what is already a challenging circumstance.

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“I am so pleased that we have been able to introduce this payment before Christmas, ensuring people will have this money ahead of the coldest of the winter months.

“I hope this helps these families plan their finances and that they can turn the heating on without as much worry about how they are going to afford it.”

She continued: “I am delighted that despite the impact of Covid-19, we’ve been able to move forward with three new benefits this year – Job Start Payment, Scottish Child Payment and now Child Winter Heating Assistance. This is the first disability assistance that we will deliver using our new social security powers.

“We are continuing to work with delivery partners to review the timeline for introduction of our remaining benefits and we will do everything we can to start these as soon as we can practically and safely do so.”

This payment will be made automatically to all those eligible through information from the Department for Work and Pensions.