FAMILIES of disabled children will receive a new heating benefit by Christmas.

The Child Winter Heating Assistance is a new £200 payment to help families of a child on the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for Children to heat their homes. There are more than 14,000 children expected to be eligible.

Payments will arrive with people from Friday 27 November and these are expected to be complete by Friday 11 December.

People do not need to apply for this payment. It will be made automatically by Social Security Scotland using information provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. Families will get a letter in advance to confirm that they will be getting this payment.

This is the first form of disability assistance to be introduced by the Scottish Government using its new social security powers.