Scottish Child Payment is a welfare benefit being introduced by Scottish Government to tackle child poverty. It is designed for low-income families already in receipt of one or more qualifying benefits.
Families with at least one child under the age of six who have a parent or carer in receipt of Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will be eligible to apply for £10 per child per week through the benefit.
Scottish Government has made a commitment to extending the eligibility criteria to families with children under 16 years of age by 2022. Applications for Scottish Child Payment open in November 2020, with first payments being made early next year.
The benefit has is being implemented as part of Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22, which sets out a directive to ‘work towards introducing an income supplement’ for underprivileged families.
Around a quarter of Scottish children are living in relative poverty, with this proportion higher in the Greater Cumbernauld area. Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, commented:
“I am very proud that our commitment to tackling child poverty means we are introducing this brand new benefit. We are the only part of the UK taking such action and making sure low-income families have additional financial support.
“This support is needed more than ever. The economic impact of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on families. As such, we’ve prioritised our efforts and resource to deliver Scottish Child Payment as soon as we could practically do so.
“Despite the significant impact of COVID-19 on Scottish Government and the people and partners it works closely with, the introduction of Scottish Child Payment has only been delayed by two months.
“Scottish Child Payment will be a game changer for families across Scotland. Significantly more families are now relying on benefits, some perhaps for the first time, and this will make a real difference.”
It is estimated that 194,000 children in Scotland will be entitled to be supplemented through Scottish Child Payment, with up to 140,000 households set to receive at least an extra £520 per year. Satwat Rehman, Director of One Parent Families Scotland, added:
“This new benefit will make a world of difference to low-income families, many of whom were struggling to cover living costs even before the pandemic.
“It is believed that 39% of children in single parent families were living in poverty before COVID-19. The effect of the virus and resulting lockdown has only added to the pressure for single parents who are balancing the responsibility of caring for their children and bringing in an income alone.
“This is a payment that families are in dire need of and when this additional £10 per week per child becomes available in February, it will be a lifeline for many such families.
“It will help reduce financial pressures and demonstrates the potential of social security to make a positive difference and reflect our society’s shared values of compassion and fairness.”
From next month, parents and carers will be able to apply for Scottish Child Payment by post, telephone or online through Social Security Scotland, a statutory agency established to administer welfare benefits devolved to Scotland.
Submitted applications will be assessed for eligibility over the winter, with first payments due to be made from the end of February 2021 onwards.
Learn About Scottish Child Payment by Attending a Virtual Roadshow
Before applications go live, organisations who work with and support families are being invited to find out more about Scottish Child Payment by attending one of 18 free online events being facilitated by Social Security Scotland during October.
Virtual roadshows will communicate information about the eligibility criteria and how clients can apply for the benefit. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that they may have about the benefit and its application process.
The list of scheduled events is featured below, with bookings available online through clicking on the relevant link. Tickets are provided on a first come first served basis.
Tuesday 6 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon | Click here to book
Wednesday 7 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon | Click here to book
Thursday 8 October 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm | Click here to book
Friday 9 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon | Click here to book
Monday 12 October 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm | Click here to book
Wednesday 14 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon | Click here to book
Wednesday 14 October 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm | Click here to book
Thursday 15 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon | Click here to book
Tuesday 27 October 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm |..Click here to book
Thursday 29 October 2020 | 10:30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Wednesday 4 November 2020 | 10.30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Thursday 5 November 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm |..Click here to book
Monday 9 November 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm |..Click here to book
Friday 13 November 2020 | 10.30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Monday 16 November 2020 | 10.30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Friday 20 November 2020 | 10.30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Tuesday 24 November 2020 | 1.30pm – 3.00pm |..Click here to book
Thursday 26 November 2020 | 10.30am – 12noon |..Click here to book
Challenge Poverty Week takes place from 5-11 October 2020 in Scotland. It aims to raise a unified voice against poverty and call for a more just and equal Scotland, as well as building awareness and support for solutions to poverty.
For more about Challenge Poverty Week 2020 and how you can have your voice heard, visit www.challengepoverty.net.