Politics

Scottish Child Payment benefit launches today as parents urged not to miss out

Parents could miss out on money from the Scottish Child Payment if they fail to apply for the new benefit that launches today.

The £10-per-week payment is part of the Scottish Government’s wider plans to tackle child poverty across the country.

Parents and carers who receive other welfare support – such as Universal Credit – are able to apply for the payment for each child under the age of six, with the benefit being rolled out for all qualifying under-16s by 2022.

The cash will be given out a monthly basis beginning later this month once eligibility has been assessed.

Payments will be backdated to February 15 for those who applied on or before this date.

The Scottish Government has revealed 77,000 applications had been received as of last Sunday.

But if all 77,000 applications received so far are approved, it would still only account for 44.5% of the 173,000 children now estimated to be eligible by the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

Money will be given out monthly, beginning in late February once eligibility has been assessed and decisions made.

Payments will be backdated from the day the application is sent, meaning eligible families who fail to apply by Monday will miss out on some of their entitlement.



The £10-per-week payment for eligible families launches on Monday

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Government was “proactively promoting” the payment and had written to Universal Credit and HMRC tax credit databases who may be eligible, describing the response as “fantastic”.

She said: “Today marks the day that parents and carers will become eligible for Scottish Child Payment.

“We’ve had a great response and this is a very large number of applications.

“It will take time to work through these applications and I’d like to ask families for their patience while we work as quickly as we can to process these.

“The Scottish Child Payment is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK.

“Announced in late June 2019, the new payment has been achieved at great speed.

“In 2021-22 we will invest £3.6 billion in social security payments supporting carers, young people, and low-income families, including £68 million for this new payment.

“Significantly more families are now relying on benefits due to the pandemic – some perhaps for the first time.

“Scottish Child Payments will help lift children in Scotland out of poverty.”

Somerville added: “Covid-19 restrictions continue to put additional pressure on parents and carers and I recognise how busy families are.

“But I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet applied, to take 10 minutes to get their application in – it’s vital that people get the money they are entitled to.”

People can apply online at www.mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 182 2222.

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