Young people urged to apply for Job Start Payment

Applications now simpler for eligible clients.

Young people are being urged to find out if they are eligible for Job Start Payment as part of a new campaign.

The Scottish Government has introduced changes to Job Start Payment, simplifying the process for young people to apply.

Changes to the qualifying criteria mean that income received from completing trial shifts will now not rule out applicants from getting Job Start Payment.

Further changes made by Social Security Scotland, who administer the payment,  include extending the deadline to apply to six months after the young person’s job offer rather than the previous three months, and supplying simplified supporting information for proof of job. These changes are designed to make the application process clearer and simpler.

The one-off payment helps young people and care leavers with the costs of starting a new job. Eligible people receive a one-off payment of £294.70 or £471.50 if they are a main carer of any children.

The nationwide digital marketing campaign, which launched on 23 October, aims to raise awareness of the financial support available to young people and care leavers when offered a job after a period of unemployment.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Since launching in August 2020, Job Start Payment has made a real difference to young people across Scotland by supporting them to take up employment opportunities.

“The pressures of starting a new job can be overwhelming and we don’t want the extra costs to be what stops young people.

“It is now simpler for eligible clients to apply for Job Start Payment due to the recent guidance changes. I encourage young people and carers who have recently started work, or employers taking on young people in a new job, to find out more and check if they are eligible.

"The ongoing cost of living crisis means that people are facing difficult financial decisions day in and day out.

“We are committed to making sure that people are getting all of the money that they are entitled to and that the people who are eligible know how to apply.”


People can apply for Job Start Payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. Any young person aged between 16 to 24 years old who has been out of work for at least six months and is in receipt of certain benefits for six months can apply for the payment. Care leavers need to be aged between 16 to 25 years and only need to be out of paid work and in receipt of certain benefits on the date of the job offer.

Job Start Payment is a one-off payment of £294.70 or £471.50 if the person is the main carer of any children. This money does not need to be paid back.

The purpose of this payment is to help with the costs of starting a new job. It can be used for things like: travel costs, such as a bus or train pass, lunches, new clothes or a uniform and childcare. Young people under 22, who live in Scotland, are also entitled to free bus travel and further details on this can be found at

Social Security Scotland will send the payment to the applicant’s bank or to someone else's. Bank account details need to be available to apply.

As part of applying for Job Start Payment, applicants need to send Social Security Scotland their job offer confirmation. They also may need to send further supporting information.

To find out more about Job Start Payment and apply online, over the phone or book an appointment to apply in-person, people can visit or call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.


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