Waiting times on processing new claims for the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

In relation to the time taken in processing new claims for the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods:

  1. The percentage of new claims waiting for longer than 30 days.
  2. The percentage of new claims waiting for longer than 60 days.

Please provide information from 2018 and if possible, with a breakdown by year.


We have interpreted your request as referring to total processing times for claims for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods. Our total processing time calculations include any time where we have asked clients to provide supporting evidence. Since the introduction of Best Start Foods payment in August 2019, each application requires two decisions (Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods) to be made, both of which may require different supporting evidence.

From the total applications processed from launch date until the end of the 28th July 2022: 23% of applications took over 30 days to process, whilst 6% took over 60 days to process.

The information broken down by Financial Year is provided in the below table:

Financial Year Over 30 days Over 60 days
2018/19 [notes] 6% 0%
2019/20 6% 1%
2020/21 24% 8%
2021/22 30% 10%

Please also note that the financial year 2022/23 only includes from 1st April 2022 to the 28th July 2022. Therefore, the processing time figures for the 2022/23 financial year cannot be directly compared to the previous financial years. For this time period currently 85% of applications have taken over 30 days and 15% over 60 days. This time period includes the annual opening of the application window for School Age Payment, which results in significant increases in applications.

[notes]: Best Start Grant Launched in December 2018 therefore financial year 2018/19 includes the months December 2018 – March 2019.

Information on Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods is available at our statistics publication page here: https://www.socialsecurity.gov.scot/about/statistics/social-security-scotland-statistics-publications

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top