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Families invited to cash in on Best Start Grant School Age Payment

A child wearing school uniform

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson has urged eligible families to apply for Best Start Grant School Age Payment.

The one-off payment of £252.50, administered by Social Security Scotland, is made to families when a child is old enough to start primary school. The payment can be used to buy everyday supplies like a new pair of shoes, books and school bags.

More than £10 million has been paid in Best Start Grant School Age Payments to families across Scotland since the benefit launched in June 2019.

Applications are currently open for children born between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2017. Parents or carers have until 28 February 2022 to apply.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment is part of the package of five family payments administered by Social Security Scotland. The package includes Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods and is available to families receiving tax credits or certain benefits.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:

“As children enter education for the first time, it is vital that the youngest people in our society get what they need to thrive. Whether it be a new pair of shoes or books or paints for an art project, the Scottish Government is committed to providing extra help to give every child the best start in life.

“We know that covering the costs of starting school can be difficult. So, I am urging families who may be eligible to get in touch with Social Security Scotland to find out more.

“Even if you are deferring your child’s start date until next year or home schooling, please remember to apply before the closing date. We are keen to ensure parents and carers receive all the financial support they can apply for, such as a school clothing grant and free school meals.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that people are supported and encouraged to access all of the benefits they are entitled to, and will invest in new partnerships between schools and advice services to help expand these vital links for families.

“I am proud that we are already delivering a social security system that is there for people when and where they need it, that is fair and straightforward to access, and that encourages and supports people to get the financial support they are entitled to.”

Glasgow-mum-of-three Becky Taylor successfully applied online for the payment ahead of her daughter Bella (aged 4) starting P1 at St Roch’s Primary School in Royston this week.

Becky said: “It can be hard at this time of year but the Best Start Grant School Age Payment covered everything we would need for Bella. I was able to buy her uniform, school bag and shoes as well as things like tights and socks.

“I was able to do the whole process online and it was easy. People should look into seeing if it is something they are entitled to and apply.”

Visit mygov.scot or call 0800 182 2222 to find out more or apply.

Background

  • School Age Payment is a payment of £252.50 per child. It helps with the costs of preparing for school when your child is first old enough to start primary school
  • You can get the payment for multiple children, as long as each child is the right age when you apply
  • Eligibility is based on the child’s age. Parents who have deferred their child’s entry to school from August 2021 to August 2022, or those who are home schooling, should still apply before the closing date on 28 February 2022. If an application is made after this time it will be too late
  • The School Age Payment has not replaced the School Clothing Grant. The School Age Payment is a new payment and it does not affect payments of the School Clothing Grant in any way
  • Social Security Scotland is using a single application process for these payments so families can apply for any Best Start Grant Payment in one form. Applications can be made online, over the phone or by post
  • Parents/carers will be eligible if they live in Scotland, are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits
  • Qualifying benefits include: Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

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