Letters have been sent to everyone in Shetland who got a Christmas grant last year setting out the new rules intended to save £500,000 a year and target the money at those most in need.
Shetland Charitable Trust agreed in July to limit the £300 grant to people aged 60 and over who receive pension credit, housing benefit or council tax benefit. Newcomers to Shetland can qualify if they moved to the islands before 30th November last year.
The rule changes do not affect disabled people who will continue to get the grant regardless of age.
The trust was forced to end its long-running £1.15 million bonus payout to every pensioner household regardless of wealth after the taxman ruled it was not charitable and began levying a bill of over £200,000 a year.
The winners under the new system are households where more than one person fits the criteria because each person will get the grant. In the past it was limited to one per household.
People who think they qualify for the first time are being asked to contact the Christmas grant helpline on (01595) 744666.