Scottish Child Payment

Our Tackling Child Poverty delivery plan set out a commitment to 'work towards introducing an income supplement within the lifetime of the delivery plan'. The Plan runs from 2018 to 2022.

We will introduce a new Scottish Child Payment for low-income families with children under six with the first payments made by Christmas 2020. We are prioritising this age group because we know from evidence that almost 60% of children in poverty live in a family with a child of six and under. 

The Payment will be delivered to all remaining eligible families with children under 16 by the end of 2022, with no cap on the number of children in families. 

The Scottish Child Payment will be administered by Social Security Scotland through an application-based process, and will be paid on a monthly basis.


  • payment level: £10 per week, per eligible child
  • eligibility: households with children and in receipt of a qualifying benefit (Universal Credit, Legacy Benefits and/or Pension Credit)
  • timescales: early delivery to eligible families with children under 6 by Christmas 2020. Full rollout to eligible families with children under 16 by the end of 2022

When the Scottish Child Payment was first announced on 26 June, we published:

  • a factsheet which sets out key details of this new benefit
  • a policy position paper that sets out the process of development of the Scottish Child Payment
  • an overview of initial policy development
  • the expected policy impacts it will have
  • analysis of options for the Income Supplement - a detailed analytical paper that shows the consideration given to a wider set of policy options

We then published further updated position papers in October 2019 and January 2020 which set out policy developments undertaken in relation to the Scottish Child Payment alongside continued work on service design and delivery.

The continued policy development, service design  and input from the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) has supported the development of a second set of draft regulations on 19 December 2019, following the publication of the first draft on 11 October 2019. These will provide a legislative basis for the introduction of the payment.

The draft regulations have been referred to SCoSS for further scrutiny, and they will provide a final report and recommendations. This process is part of the requirements of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. We will provide a response to this report, before laying the regulations in Scottish Parliament. This will probably be in spring 2020.