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 have introduced a new Scottish Child Payment for low-income families with children under six, which started on 15 February.

Scottish Child Payment is administered by Social Security Scotland through an application-based process, and is paid on a four-weekly basis.

Applications may now be submitted through

For those who have applied early for the new Payment, Social Security Scotland is currently carrying out final eligibility checks and from late February will start issuing decisions. People who have already applied are expected to get a decision and, if eligible, their first payment no later than the end of April.

People who applied in advance will have their payment calculated from Monday 15 February. People who apply after this date will have their payment calculated from the day that they apply.

Low-income families with a child under six who are eligible and apply will receive £40 per child, per month - equivalent to £520 per year. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by Scottish Child Payment.

A timetable of under 18 months from announcement to delivery of a benefit is unprecedented in the UK and is a testimony to the priority that the Scottish Government has put on tackling child poverty.

We remain committed to rolling out the benefit to families with children under 16, planned for the end 2022  subject to us receiving the necessary data from the Department for Work and Pensions.


  • 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. 

In October 2020 we published an additional position paper on maximising take up of the Scottish Child Payment.

The continued policy development, service design and input from the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) has supported the development of the Regulations which came into force as Scottish Statutory Instruments on 9 November 2020 and 15 January 2021.

The Regulations were accompanied by a suite of Impact Assessments:

A copy of the Scottish Government’s response to the recommendations from SCoSS was published on 8 September and 26 November.

The Scottish Fiscal Commission published their updated forecasts for the Scottish Child Payment on 28 January 2021, as part of Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecast which accompanies the Scottish Government’s Budget.

In February 2021, Social Security Scotland published the Scottish Child Payment operational guidance which can be found on the Social Security Scotland website.