Families on low incomes encouraged to apply for £20 weekly payment for children under six

Eligible parents are being encouraged to apply for the Scottish Child Payment on the first anniversary since the launch of the new benefit.

The payment of £10 per week, unique to Scotland, began in February 2021 as a direct measure by the Scottish Government to tackle poverty and provides regular, additional financial support to parents and carers to help with the costs of caring for a child.

Since its launch, the families of around 106,000 children have benefited from £520 a year and the payment will double to £20 per week from April. By the end of this year – subject to data being made available by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) – the payment will extend to include all eligible children under the age of 16.

In 2019-20 the Scottish Government invested nearly £2 billion in support for low income households, including over £672 million targeted specifically at children.

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government said: “The Scottish Government is determined to deliver on our ambition to eradicate child poverty in Scotland. So this year we will be even bolder with the ambitious and transformational measures we will take.

“From April, our Scottish Child Payment will double to £20 a week – four times the amount anti-poverty campaigners originally asked for. Together with our Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments, this will provide a package of financial support worth £8,400 by the time an eligible family’s first child turns 6.”

The extension to 16-year-olds will see the number of eligible children increasing to 430,000 and in 2023/24 the Scottish Government estimates the £20 payments could lift 40,000 children out of poverty.

The Scottish Government committed to introducing the Scottish Child Payment in June 2019 as part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.

John Dickie, the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “The Scottish Child Payment is already providing vital financial support to families, helping parents give the best possible start in life to their children.

“Doubling its value from April comes at a critical time, helping families stay afloat as food and energy prices soar. The roll out to eligible children over five is now eagerly anticipated and really can’t come soon enough.”

Who should apply for the Scottish Child Payment?

You may be able to get Scottish Child Payment if all of the following apply:

  • you live in Scotland
  • you or your partner are getting certain benefits or payments
  • you or your partner are the main person looking after a child who’s under 6 years old

The main person looking after your child (if any) might want to complete the application form, or use their bank details for payment.

Benefits or payment you or your partner must get to qualify

You can apply whether you’re in work or not, as long as you’re getting one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Social Security Scotland guidance states: “If you’re not getting any of these benefits or payments, but have applied for one, you can still apply for Scottish Child Payment.

You might get one of these benefits or payments, but have a sanction or deduction on your claim. This is when you get a cut in your benefits because you did not meet certain conditions or pay money you owe – you can still apply, as this will not affect Social Security Scotland’s decision on your application.

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how to claim

You can apply for the Scottish Child Payment by visiting the MyGov website here or calling 0800 182 2222.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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