Job Start Payment

Cost of living crisis: find out what help is available

Job Start Payment (previously Job Grant) is a new payment to help young people with the costs associated with the transition into employment, after a period of time out of paid work.

Job Start Payment is a cash payment of £252.50; £404 for a young person with children. It is available to those between the ages of 16 and 24 who have been out of paid work and receiving a low income benefit for six months prior to finding employment.

Care leavers will not be required to have been out of paid work for six months, and will be eligible for a year longer – until their 26th birthday.

This payment could help with travel costs or could be used for clothing, lunches and other expenses that need to be met before someone receives their first salary. It will complement our wider initiatives that support people into employment, such as Fair Start

Why we are introducing Job Start Payment

Evidence shows that unemployment rates for young people in Scotland are consistently higher than those for other age groups. 

Young people who are not in education, training or employment are at higher risk of poorer physical and mental health outcomes (e.g. anxiety, depression) than other young people who are consistently in education or employment.

Who will be able to claim Job Start Payment

Someone living in Scotland, aged 16-24, who has been out of work and receiving one or more of the qualifying benefits for at least six months when they receive a job offer can claim. They must have been offered work averaging at least 12 hours per week over a 4 week period.

Care leavers aged 16-25 can claim. They only need to be out of work and receiving a qualifying benefit on the day of their job offer, not for the previous 6 months.

The qualifying benefits are: 

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment
  • Support Allowance and Universal Credit

Applications can be made up to three months after the date of the job offer. If a young person receives a Job Start Payment and subsequently finds themselves back out of work, they will be able to apply again but not until two years after their previous payment.


Read more about the Job Start Payment on

Policy papers

We have published a series of social security policy papers setting out our position on the developments of the devolved benefits in Scotland.


Our consultation on our proposals for the Job Grant (now called Job Start Payment) closed on 9 April 2019. We published an analysis report of the consultation results in July 2019. Our response to the consultation was published in December 2019.

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