Over 50,000 parents have now applied for the new Scottish Child Payment
11 January 2021
Back in January 2020, the CIPP reported that the Scottish Government was intending to use its devolved powers to offer a new £10 per week, per child benefit for children in lower income families. It has now been confirmed that 56,000 applications were received between 9 November 2020 and 3 January 2021.
The payment will be available for certain children under the age of six, and the new Scottish Child Payment will open on 15 February 2021. Parents are being advised to apply now to ensure that they do not lose out on any of the money that they may be entitled to. The benefit provides eligible families who are on tax credits or certain benefits with an extra £40 every four weeks for each child who is under the age of six. For those who apply prior to 15 February 2021, their payment will be calculated from 15 February 2021 but for those applying after that date, the payment will be calculated from the date that they apply.
This additional payment for families with young children on lower incomes is only available in Scotland, and not the rest of the UK, and the Scottish Fiscal Commission have estimated that the payment could help to financially support anything up to 194,00 children this financial year. The Scottish Child Payment is a new benefit that is an addition to Child Benefit, which is offered UK-wide. When used in conjunction with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, the Scottish Child Payment could provide families with a maximum of £5,200 by the time their first child turns six.
Shirley-Anne Sommerville, Social Security Secretary, said:
“This is a great response to our new payment. The Scottish Child Payment is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK but there are many more families out there who are entitled to this support and we want to make sure that they get every penny that they are due. That’s why we are asking people to get their application in early so that their payments will be calculated from the first day the payment starts.
Almost 60% of all children in poverty live in a family where a child is under six so I am proud we are able to introduce it early for families with young children before we roll it out to children under 16 in 2022.
Significantly more families are now relying on benefits due to the events of the last year – some perhaps for the first time – and this payment will help lift children in Scotland out of poverty.
COVID-19 continues to challenge us and the required additional restrictions bring additional pressures for families. I know that mums and dads and carers will be balancing many things right now but if you can find ten minutes, that’s all it takes to fill in the application form, it could mean that there is some extra money that could maybe ease the financial pressure that you may be facing post-Christmas and amid the national lockdown.”
Applications for the payment can be made online, or alternatively by calling 0800 182 2222.
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