Making sure people impacted by Covid-19 get our support

14 April 2020

COVID-19

On Wednesday 1 April, the Scottish Parliament approved emergency legislation to help businesses, public services and people through the ongoing pandemic.

This includes some changes to the way that we will administer five of our benefits.

These changes are to enable people to still access our support should Covid-19 impact their ability to get an application in within set timescales.

Clients who make a late application after 7 April may still be treated as eligible even when the delay means they are out with our normal eligibility ages, provided they have explained that the reason for their application being late is due to Covid-19.

These changes are:

Pregnancy and Baby Payment – applications could potentially be made up to the day a child turns one, or one year and six months for an application from a kinship carer.

Parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. People could still be eligible after their 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that they couldn’t get their application in on time.

Early Learning Payment – eligibility could increase up to a child’s 4th birthday

Parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. People could still be eligible after their 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that they couldn’t get their application in on time.

School Age Payment – as with Pregnancy and Baby Payment and Early Learning Payment, parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. People could still be eligible after their 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that they couldn’t get their application in on time.

Young Carer Grant – clients could remain eligible after they turn 19

Funeral Support Payment – Applications can be made up to six months following a funeral. The six month rule can be ignored for clients applying late, if the reason for delay is in relation to Covid-19.

Social Security Scotland and the Scottish Government are working hard to put these changes in place. In the meantime, we urge clients to continue with their online applications by visiting mygov.scot/benefits. They may receive automatic prompts advising that they are not eligible but they should continue with their applications and, given they have a reasonable delay relating to Covid-19, their application will still be considered.

We are urging clients to apply online in the first instance but clients who are not able to can request a call back by calling 0800 182 2222 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

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