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Date for extending Scottish Child Payment to under 16 year olds announced

The First Minister is with a child

Scottish Child Payment will open for applications for all eligible children under the age of 16 from Monday 14 November.

The payment, which is unique to Scotland, provides direct financial support to eligible families and carers to help with the costs of caring for a child.

From 14 November, around 104,000 children already getting Scottish Child Payment for their children under 6 will automatically see their awards increase to £25.

Subject to final checks on data required from the DWP, when the payment extends to under 16s it is forecasted that an additional 300,000 children could be eligible.

Given the large numbers of children forecasted to be newly eligible we are expecting a large number of new applications. This means that people applying for the first time might need to wait to get their award, but if eligible will see their payments backdated to the day they first applied.

Speaking ahead of her statement to Parliament on the Programme for Government, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish Child Payment is unique to Scotland, the most ambitious child poverty reduction measure in the UK and an important action to mitigate the growing cost emergency. We doubled the payment to £20 per week per child in April and the further increase to £25 from November means a rise of 150% in less than eight months.

“This means that around 104,000 children currently in receipt of Scottish Child Payment will have it automatically increased to £25 per week, and all new eligible under 16s will receive it at the new £25 rate with all payments backdated to the date their application is received.

Social Security Scotland will be running a series of stakeholder events throughout October and November to help organisations supporting families learn more about the upcoming changes, including how and when to apply.

Background

• Scottish Child Payment is part of a wider package of five family payments including: Best Start Grant Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment, Best Start Grant School Age Payment and Best Start Foods

• Scottish Child Payment, together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, provides families with more than £10,000 by the time their first child turns 6 and £9,700 for subsequent children

• Plans have also been announced to automatically pay the Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payments to parents and carers who already receive Scottish Child Payment when their children become eligible. The change will be introduced soon after Scottish Child Payment is extended to under-16s and increased to £25 per child, per week

• Ahead of extending the Scottish Child Payment to under 16s, the Scottish Government introduced bridging payments worth £520 a year which are being paid in 2021 and 2022 to provide immediate support to around 145,000 children and young people of school age. Payments will be issued in October and December.

• Eligible families, and carers can find out more and apply at mygov.scot/scottishchildpayment or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222

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