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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19465: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-13171 by Jeane Freeman on 21 December 2017, for what reason the experience panels are required to consider precise eligibility of extending winter fuel payments to families with disabled children on the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance, in light of it having made this commitment in its Programme for Government 2016-17 and in its answer to question S5W-02679 by Jeane Freeman on 15 September 2016.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 14 November 2018

The purpose of the experience panels is to understand the direct personal experience and views of people with experience of the benefits being devolved, including families with disabled children. Experience panels research will inform policy development and how Winter Heating Allowance is delivered. Decisions about eligibility will continue to rest with the Scottish Government.

There are over 350 Experience Panel members with experience of Winter Fuel Payments. Experience Panels are already collecting information that will inform our design and delivery of the new Winter Heating Allowance. Some of these panel members reflected specifically on their experience of Winter Fuel Payments as part of our ‘About Your Benefits and You’ research in 2017.