The Scottish Government has increased the level of financial support available to low income families with children with the launch of its Best Start Grant School Age Payment.
The £250 School Age Payment is made around the time a child normally starts Primary 1 to help with the costs of a child starting school. You can use it for anything from schoolbags, shoes, a warm coat, after school clubs, books or days out– it is not a loan so doesnot have to be paid back.
Delivered by Social Security Scotland, the School Age Payment is part of the Best Start Grant, a package of three payments that gives extra money to parents and carers on certain benefits or tax credits during the early years of a child’s life.
The other payments include the Pregnancy and Baby Payment – £600 for your first child and £300 for all other children – and Early Learning Payment – £250 when a child would normally start nursery.
You should apply for a payment if your child was born between 1 March 2014 and 28 Feb 2015. This also applies to parents who have deferred entry for their children who should still apply in the 3 June to 29 February window. If they wait until next year it will be too late and they will miss out on your payment. You do not need to take up a school place to get this payment.
Are you eligible?
- You have a child starting Primary this August.
- You can apply for the School Age Payment if you live in Scotland whether you are in work or not.
- You get certain benefits Qualifying benefits include: Universal Credit (UC), Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit.
- If you are under 18 you are automatically eligible and don’t have to be on a qualifying benefit.
- If you are 18 or 19, in full time education or training and dependent on someone
else like a parent or carer who is claiming child benefit, child tax credit, pension credit or universal credit for you.How do you apply?
• Social Security Scotland are taking applications via their freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222, by post or online at mygov.scot/schoolpayment
You can add this news story on your organisation’s website or newsletter to inform your customers and stakeholders about the School Age Payment.
How long to get a payment?
• You should receive your money within 14-21 days. If we need any more information or further evidence to check that you are eligible it could take longer.