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 6. On 3 November 2020 the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People announced that Scottish Child Payment would open for applications from 9 November and the benefit would start from 15 February 2021. 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. 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 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.

Applications may now be submitted through


  • 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 were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 8 September and 26 November 2020.

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.