Information

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 2021.

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

Applications can now be submitted through my.gov.scot

If their claim is successful people will have their payment calculated from the date that they apply.

Low-income families with a child under six who are eligible and apply will receive £40 per child, every four weeks - equivalent to £520 per year. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by Scottish Child Payment. We will double the payment to £80 per child,  paid every four weeks in April 2022

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.

Summary

  • payment level: £10* per week, per eligible child
  • eligibility: households with children under 6 and in receipt of a qualifying benefit (Universal Credit, Legacy Benefits and/or Pension Credit) a full list is available.
  • 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 by the end of 2022.

*This will increase to £20 in April 2022

Background

When the Scottish Child Payment was first announced on 26 June 2019, 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 impacts
  • 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. This has been superseded by the updated take up strategy for social security, published in October 2021.

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 Best Start Grants and Scottish Child Payment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2021

These amendment regulations for Scottish Child Payment came into effect on 23 December 2021.

The changes allow a greater degree of discretion in how Social Security Scotland considers competing claims and will help ensure the payment is made to the person with responsibility for the child to whom a claim relates.

The Scottish Fiscal Commission published their updated forecasts for the Scottish Child Payment on 9 December 2021, as part of Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecast which accompanies the Scottish Government’s Budget.

Official Statistics for Scottish Child Payment are published quarterly, giving figures for applications and caseload in that period. The most recent statistics were published on 30 November 2021.

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

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