News

Best Start Grant to help youngsters

Published: 23 Jan 2019 09:17

New benefit to be introduced from June.

Scotland’s new Best Start Grant School Age payment will open for applications on 3 June.

Regulations have been laid in Parliament, which is the next big step towards introducing the payment which will help the families who need it most with costs associated with the transition to school.

The benefit, to be delivered by Social Security Scotland, will see eligible families receive £250 to help with things such as educational toys and after school activities.

The payment builds on the success of the recently launched Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

While visiting children and parents at Quarry View Nursery in Dundee, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed the School Age payment will be open for applications on 3 June, once regulations are approved.

She said:

“We are committed to doing all we can to make sure Scotland is the best place for a child to grow up.  We want to increase financial support to families, bringing equality to children across Scotland by giving them a help towards a fairer start.

“This payment follows the successful launch of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which received an unprecedented number of applications.  I am delighted we have now paid out £1.3 million to eligible families on low incomes in just its first month of operation.

“The new £250 payment will help families with the costs of preparing for school and will use the same eligibility as the extremely successful Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been welcomed by families across Scotland.  The School Age Payment does not exist under the UK benefits system – demonstrating this Government’s ambition to deliver a better social security system.”

Background

  1. Parents/carers will be eligible if they are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits
  2. Qualifying benefits include Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
  3. Those under 18, or who are 18 or 19 and in full time education and still dependent on your parent or carer, do not have to be on a qualifying benefit
  4. Once the benefit is live applications can be made online, over the phone or by post.
  5. Further information can be found at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 182 2222
  6. Most people will be able to apply for a payment without sending any evidence, as Social Security Scotland will check DWP systems to verify information where possible
  7. The Best Start Grant, Early Learning payment will be delivered by summer 2019.