The second phase of welfare benefits to be devolved to the Scottish Social Security System is the Best Start Grant, Nursery and School Age Grant. The Best Start Grant begins on 10 December 2018 and you will find more information on this in the latest guide. The Best Start Grant will replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant. The processing time will be 5-10 working days so this means the first payments of this new benefit will be made before Christmas 2018. More information on who's eligible and how to apply for the new benefit can found at https://www.mygov.scot/pregnancy-and-baby-payment/ You can apply online, by post or by phone on 0800 182 2222. This is a Freephone number. Babies born in the last 6 months who already have a big brother or sister, and had no support from the UK Government because they were not the first child, will be eligible to get their payment.
The Nursery and School Age Grants are set to start before Summer 2019.
Scottish Government will provide low income families with £600 for the birth of a first child and £300 for subsequent children.
Eligible families may also qualify for 2 further payments of £250 when the child commences nursery and again when they begin school.
You can also receive an additional £300 if you have an additional child from a multiple pregnancy.
- You must be lawfully resident in Scotland and
- receive a qualifying benefit or are a parent and under 18 years of age or still a dependent child of a parent who meets the financial test.
Qualifying Benefits are any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
Applications can be made anytime from the 24th week of pregnancy until 6 months after the birth of a child. Where there is a change in childcare responsibility this time is extended to 12 months.
Only one application can be made for each child unless there is a change in childcare responsibility such as Kinship Care or adoption. Where parents separate second or subsequent claims cannot be made.
Payments will usually be made into bank or credit union accounts of your choice and will not affect other benefits.
Early Learning Nursery Grant
Applications can be made from the day of your child’s second birthday until 6 months after their third birthday.
School Age Grant
Applications can be made from the 1st of June in the year your child starts school until February of the following year.
There is no requirement for your child to have a nursery or school place for you to receive the grant, however the grants will only be paid once.