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SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT VIEWPOINT: Apply early to get new benefit

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A new benefit is being launched in February next year.
A new benefit is being launched in February next year.

Scottish Government Viewpoint

Scottish Child Payment is a new benefit from the Scottish Government which starts on February 15, 2021.

The new benefit will give families on certain benefits and tax credits an extra £40 every four weeks for each child under six.

Social Security Scotland will deliver this benefit on behalf of the government and is expecting huge demand, which is why it is asking you to apply now.

By taking applications early, it can make sure it has all the information it needs to check eligibility. This will help it make a decision on your application and, if eligible, make payments as quickly as possible once the benefit starts.

To get the payment, your child will need to be under six on February 15. You’ll also need to be getting one of – Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

If you apply before February 15, your payment will be calculated from that day. Make sure you get all the money you are due by applying in advance.

If you apply after February 15, your payment will be calculated from the date you apply.

Social Security Scotland delivers a number of benefits for families, including Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment, School Age Payment and Best Start Foods.

You can apply for Scottish Child Payment and all of these using a single straightforward form.

Nina Ballantyne, social justice policy manager for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Anything that puts money into the pockets of people who are struggling is a help.

“This £40 payment every four weeks will go a long way to making sure that fewer children in Scotland live in poverty.”

Mhoraig Green, strategic lead for social justice at Citizen’s Advice Scotland said: “We are really looking forward to the new Scottish Child Payment. We know that lots of families in Scotland are facing tough times at the moment and are struggling to make ends meet and this new money will help to make their lives easier.

“What’s really important is that everyone who is entitled to the payment makes a claim when applications open in November.

“Citizens Advice are working in communities across Scotland to help people to access the social security they are entitled to. So, if you are unclear about whether you are entitled or you need help applying, then please get in touch and our Money Talk teams will be able to help you.”

Carrie Donnar.
Carrie Donnar.

Carrie Donnar (32) said: “I’m a single parent to four children. My oldest is 13 and my youngest is three.

“I’ve struggled a bit with Covid-19 – relied on my family a bit at the start to bring stuff to me due to isolating and found I couldn’t get the stuff I was in much need of because of people panic buying. But I found some nice people who halved things with me.

“The new payment will help with the cost of a growing child who is always in need of something. With four children, it’s a struggle to get them everything they need. I would use the extra money to get the kids anything they need at that time.”

Stacey Bush.
Stacey Bush.

Stacey Bush (36) said: “I have three children aged three, five and 17. When my husband was furloughed and out of work we didn’t have a lot of money – I relied a lot on my nan and my mum.

“This new payment would mean I wouldn’t need to rely on help from my nan and my mum. I could put it towards shopping to get more food in.”

For more, visit mygov.scot/benefits or call 0800 182 2222.

This article is part of a paid-for Partnership with the UK government.

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