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16/01/20 10:22

170,000 children eligible for new benefit

Applications will be taken in advance for Scottish Child Payment to help with expected high demand.

An estimated 170,000 children will be eligible for the new £10 weekly Scottish Child Payment when it goes live later this year.

To help manage demand, families will be invited to apply in advance of the benefit being introduced in the autumn. Parents will be able to apply by post, phone and online.

Applications will be assessed for eligibility in the autumn with the first payments made by Christmas.

In an additional move to assist families, Best Start Grant payments, Best Start Foods and the new Scottish Child Payment will all be available through a single application - making it more straightforward for people to access the money they are entitled to.

Social Security Secretary Shirley Anne Somerville said:

“The Scottish Child Payment has rightly been described as game-changing in terms of the potential to reduce child poverty. That is why we are doing everything we can to introduce this as early as possible, whilst ensuring we do so in a way that is safe and secure and protects implementation plans for the other social security benefits.

“When we launched the Best Start Grant payments we experienced significant demand with 14,000 applications in the week that we opened the School Age Payment. With 170,000 children from approximately 140,000 households expected to qualify for Scottish Child Payment, eligibility is on a unprecedented scale and, as this is a recurring payment, it also brings additional complexity.

“We are gearing up to process applications carefully, accurately and efficiently. We are building capacity across our processes, systems, premises and people. And with the roll-out plan, we are asking families to help us by getting their applications in early so that we can process and start making payments as quickly as possible once this new benefit has been introduced.”