New £10 weekly Scottish Child Payment to help approximately 170,000 children
17 January 2020
On 26 June 2019, the Scottish government announced that it would be using its devolved powers to offer a new benefit of £10 per week per child for children in lower income families.
The intention is that, from December 2020, the payment will be provided to all eligible families in Scotland with a child / children under the age of six, and this will extend to include all eligible families in Scotland with a child / children under the age of 16 by the end of 2022.
Families will be able to apply for the extra support, paid in addition to any child benefit payments, from Autumn 2020 by phone, online or in writing. It is hoped that by allowing applications to be made in advance in the Autumn, ahead of when the payments are due to be made in the Winter, high demand can be managed effectively, and the process can be a smooth one.
The £10 per week allowance will be paid on a four-weekly basis and there is no limit on the number of children that the payment can be made for.
It has been estimated that roughly 170,000 children will be eligible for the Scottish Child Payment, across 140,000 households, which can be applied for alongside Best Start Foods and Best Start Grant Payments. It is hoped that by allowing individuals to apply for all of these benefits in one application, that it will be more straight forward for people to apply for and receive the money that they are entitled to.
Shirley Anne Somerville who is Social Security Secretary said:
“The Scottish Child Payment has rightly been described as game-changing in terms of the potential to reduce child poverty. That is why we are doing everything we can to introduce this as early as possible, whilst ensuring we do so in a way that is safe and secure and protects implementation plans for the other social security benefits.
When we launched the Best Start Grant payments we experienced significant demand with 14,000 applications in the week that we opened the School Age Payment. With 170,000 children from approximately 140,000 households expected to qualify for Scottish Child Payment, eligibility is on an unprecedented scale and, as this is a recurring payment, it also brings additional complexity.
We are gearing up to process applications carefully, accurately and efficiently. We are building capacity across our processes, systems, premises and people. And with the roll-out plan, we are asking families to help us by getting their applications in early so that we can process and start making payments as quickly as possible once this new benefit has been introduced.”
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