Scottish Child Payment will put extra money in parents’ pockets
Parents are encouraged to apply now for the new Scottish Child Payment – which is unique to Scotland – ahead of its launch early next year.
Social Security Scotland is taking applications ahead of its introduction on Monday, February 15, 2021, to help manage the expected demand.
The new benefit, which will give eligible families on low incomes with children under 16 an extra £10 per week for each child, is planned to be fully rolled out to children under the age of 16 by the end of 2022, subject to data on qualifying benefits being received from DWP.
Priority is being given to families with children under six, who will start receiving payments from early 2021.
Scotland is the only part of the UK where this additional payment for families with young children will be available.
The payment could support up to 194,000 children this financial year and the payment will be made every four weeks.
The Scottish Government committed to introduce this new payment in June 2019 as part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The Scottish Child Payment is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK.
“Almost 60 per cent 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 – almost two years ahead of the original commitment for this new benefit to be introduced.
“We are expecting a significant demand for this new payment so are opening applications early.
“I encourage all parents and carers who may be eligible to apply now and I am 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 the benefit starts in February next year.
“Significantly more families are now relying on benefits due to the events of this year – some perhaps for the first time – and this payment will help lift children in Scotland out of poverty.”
Action for Children sees the effects of child poverty every day and the impact it has on many of children and families.
Paul Carberry, the charity’s director for Scotland, said one simple act to help reduce child poverty is putting money in the pockets of parents.
“The Scottish Child Payment can ease the struggle some families face in providing the basics and necessities of life,” he said.
“The impacts of poverty are profound for Scotland’s children, from poor mental and physical health and wellbeing to poor performance at school.
“The Scottish Child Payment will offer vital financial support for children, young people, and their families. It can give back choice and dignity. We urge all eligible families to apply for this.”
That’s a view shared by Nina Ballantyne, social justice policy manager with Citizens Advice Scotland, who said anything that puts money into the pockets of people who are struggling is a help.
Nina said: “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 with Citizen’s Advice Scotland, added: “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.”
She stressed it was really important that everyone who entitled to the payment submitted their claim as soon as possible.
“Citizens Advice Bureau are working in communities across Scotland to help people to access the social security they are entitled to,” said Mhoraig. “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.”
People can apply for Scottish Child Payment by visiting MyGovScot: Benefits or calling 0800 182 2222.