The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018  (the Act) was brought forward as a result of measures following the changes to the devolution settlement enacted in the Scotland Act 2016.
Section 32  and Schedule 6  of the Act make provision for early years assistance and require that Scottish Ministers make regulations to set out eligibility criteria, responsibility for a child who will qualify and the value of payments. The BSG will be a form of early years assistance, intended to support lower income families with children by offering financial support at key transition points in the early years, intended to improve children's wellbeing and life chances. The BSG pregnancy and baby payment will replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant ( SSMG) which is provided by Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP).
The Early Years Assistance (Best Start Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (the regulations) provide detailed rules relating to the BSG pregnancy and baby payment only but this screening assessment relates to all 3 BSG payments:
- pregnancy and baby;
- early learning; and
- school age payments.
The regulations include provision for eligibility, including residence, what assistance is available, the value of the payments and when to apply. The regulations also include provision for timescales for the processing of redeterminations and certain issues of process relating to application dates.
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