Scottish Child Payment: 4 months on, is it working?


When the Scottish Government launched the Scottish Child Payment early this year, it was billed as a way to support struggling families and lower child poverty across the board in Scotland.

Now that the payment has been in effect for four months, we wanted to explore what it is, how it works, and, most importantly, whether it has been effective so far.

What is the Scottish Child Payment?

The Scottish Child Payment is a benefit aimed at parents or carers based in Scotland who have children under 6 and are on low income.

The payment amounts to £10 per week, paid in lots of £40 every four weeks. For every child under 6, the receiver will be sent £40 every four weeks. 

The payment is sent to the parents of the children in order to support them with the cost of raising children.

How does the Scottish Child Payment work?

The Scottish Child Payment works in whatever way you see fit. There are no restrictions on what you can spend the money on, so it can be put towards any cost that will help you raise your child. 

The Scottish Child Payment is typically put towards expenses like:

  • Nappies
  • Baby formula
  • Childcare
  • Travel costs
  • Food and other essentials

You receive the Scottish Child Payment every four weeks, and the money will be sent straight into the bank account you include in your application.

Payments are managed by Social Security Scotland, and the first payment should arrive in the bank account of the receiver a full four weeks after they submit their application. 

When was the Scottish Child Payment launched?

The Scottish Child Payment is part of the Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty delivery plan. The plan runs from 2018 to 2022, and has been the launchpad for a series of initiatives.

The Child Payment launched on the 15th of February this year, though delivering an income supplement within the lifetime of their delivery plan had been years in the making for the Scottish Government.

That said, the fact that the Scottish Child Payment was launched in the middle of a lockdown caused by a global pandemic meant the timing couldn’t have been better for families in need. 

Has the Scottish Child Payment been a success so far?

While the Scottish Child Payment has only been running for a grand total of 4 months, early indications are that it is proving a huge help to struggling families in Scotland.

  • By the end of March, an estimated 78,775 children across Scotland have benefited from at least one Scottish Child Payment
  • More than £3.6 million in total had been paid towards families by May
  • £47,470 has been paid to applicants from Argyll and Bute
  • £67,000 has been claimed by families in Midlothian
  • £32,230 had been paid to applicants from East Renfrewshire

Despite the positive noises coming from local councils and families who have benefitted from the support the payment provides, child poverty has risen in every local authority in Scotland over the last six years, so there is still a long way to go. 

Am I eligible for the Scottish Child Payment?

You may be eligible for the Scottish Child Payment if you meet each of the following criteria:

  • You live in Scotland
  • You qualify for certain benefits
  • You or your partner is responsible for a baby or child under 6
  • Nobody else gets a Scottish Child Payment for the child in question

As mentioned previously, there is no limit to the amount of children who are eligible for the payment, so you will receive £40 per month for each child under 6 you look after.

How do I claim for the Scottish Child Payment?

To apply for the Scottish Child Payment, simply follow this link to the Scottish Government website and follow the steps. It should only take around 10-20 minutes to complete.

If you can’t apply online for whatever reason, you can apply by post by asking for a form and prepaid envelope over the phone, or you can apply over the phone by calling Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222, Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm.

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