Applications for School Age Payments open
Applications for School Age Payments open
Parents or carers of children preparing to start school are being encouraged to apply for a £250 support grant.
The one-off School Age Payment is currently open to eligible families with a child born between March 1, 2015 and February 29, 2016 and who is old enough to begin primary one this year.
From covering the cost of a school uniform to essential supplies, books or arts and crafts materials, the grant is designed to offer financial aid to help parents and guardians of pint-sized scholars.
Applicants have until February 28, 2021 to apply for the payment.
Those who have deferred their child’s school start date from August 2020 until August next year, or those who choose to home school, should still apply before the closing date.
What is the School Age Payment?
The special grant is part of a package of three payments for families already receiving financial support through a range of different benefits.
Known as the Best Start Grant the trio of payments aims to provide support during the key early years of a child’s life.
You can apply for the grant whether you’re in work or not, as long as you receive benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and tax credit. Your child must also be the right age for payment and you must be the parent or main carer for the child.
The three Best Start payments include:
Pregnancy and Baby Payment: You can apply for this payment from the 24th week of pregnancy until your baby is six months old. This timeframe is extended until the child turns one if you have taken over the care of a child, through adoption, for example. Applications can be made whether the tot is your first or not, permitting you apply when the baby is the right age. If you can get the payment for your first child, you’ll be paid £600 and £300 for any child that comes after.
The rules differ slightly if you have twins. If you apply for twins and have no children under the age of 16 you can receive £600 for the first twin, £300 for the second as well as an extra twin payment of £300, bringing the total to £1,200. You’ll receive a total of £900 if you have twins and children under the age of 16.
Early Learning Payment: Applications for this payment can be made when your child is aged between two and three and a half years old. You will receive £250 and can spend the cash on anything your little one needs at this vital age of growth and discovery – including educational toys or trips to new places.
School Age Payment: As mentioned to be eligible for this grant your child must be preparing to start primary one this year. If your child was born between March 1, 2015 and February 29, 2016 you have until February 28, 2021 to apply. You cannot apply outwith these dates. You will receive £250 for each child you could get the payment for. It’s also important to be aware that the School Age Payment hasn’t replaced the School Clothing Grant – a fund designed to help cover the cost of uniforms – and you can apply for both.
How to apply for the School-Age Payment
Applying for the Best Start School Age Payment is simple and can be done online.
The form has 10 sections and should take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. To apply online, you will need the following information:
- Personal details including name, date of birth and address
- If you have a partner, you will need to share their name and date of birth
- Bank, credit union or building society account details
- Details of the child or children you are caring for
You’ll be given advice about any further documentation required when filling in the form. However, you should have your National Insurance number to hand when applying. If you don’t give your National Insurance number to Social Security Scotland your application could be delayed.
If you’re struggling to fill in the form or require further information, help is available via telephone. Further advice is available by calling 0800 182 2222 and requesting a call back.
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