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. The Scottish Child Payment will open for applications in November 2020, with first payments beginning from the end of February 2021. This is a delay of only two months from the original timetable, despite the significant impact of COVID-19. This means that low-income families with a child under six will be able to apply for £10 per child, per week - equivalent to £520 per year. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by the Scottish Child Payment.

We remain committed to rolling out the benefit to families with children under 16, planned for the end 2022.

The Scottish Child Payment will be administered by Social Security Scotland through an application-based process, and will be paid on a four-weekly 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 with first payments from end of February 2021. Full rollout to eligible families with children under 16 is planned for 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 including an overview of the initial policy development and expected impactss
  • an 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 the Regulations which were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 8 September. 

A copy of the Scottish Government’s response to the recommendations from SCoSS was published on 8 September.

The Regulations were accompanied by a suite of Impact Assessments: