Scottish Child Payment

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What is a Scottish child payment?

From 15 February 2021, the Scottish government has started to pay low-income families a payment of £10 per week for each eligible child in their family. While the payment is initially made to children aged under six only, by late 2022 it will be extended to children under 16.

Initially payments will only be made for children aged under six, but by late 2022 it is planned that this will be extended to children aged under 16. In the meantime, low-income families with a child aged six or above may qualify for bridging payments from their local authority instead (see below).

There is no limit to the number of children that you can be paid for, so a Scottish child payment will still be made for children who are affected by the two child limit in Universal Credit or tax credits. 

How do I quality for a Scottish child payment?

To qualify for a Scottish child payment a family must be receiving ‘a qualifying benefit’. This means you must be getting one of the following:

You also need to show that you are the person responsible for the child in question. You are treated as responsible for them if:

  • You get child benefit for them; or
  • The child is included in your Universal Credit, tax credits or Pension Credit claim; or
  • You are their kinship carer.

Special rules apply if more than one household applies for the same child.

To apply, call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or visit mygov.scot/benefits

Getting the Scottish Child Payment will not affect any other benefits or tax credits you receive.

Bridging payments for children aged six and above

The Scottish Child Payment is not being extended to children aged six and over until late 2022. In the interim, low income families who qualify for free school meals will receive ‘bridging payments’ equivalent to the Scottish Child Payment for each child they have aged six or above.

Eligible families will receive these bridging payments from their local authority. Payments are made automatically, without the need for an application if your child already qualifies for free school meals on the basis of low income. However, if your child qualifies for free school meals automatically due to universal free school meals in primary 1-4, you will need to complete an application for free school meals on income grounds in order to access bridging payments.

Two bridging payments of £100 each were paid in early 2021. These will be followed by a payment of £160 in October and again in December. In 2022, eligible children will qualify for four payments of £130 to be paid at the start of each school holiday.