Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payment to be made automatically

Improvements make it easier for families to get money they are entitled to

People who receive Scottish Child Payment and qualify for Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age payments will be paid them automatically, without the need to apply for them separately.

Social Security Scotland will notify clients by SMS when they are checking eligibility for the Best Start Grants and, if they are eligible, will write to advise them of the payment.

The move to automatic awards will mean less paperwork for tens of thousands of families and ensure that families automatically receive the support to which they’re entitled.

It builds on work already completed to make applying for our five family payments as simple as possible.

It includes the ability to apply for all children in a household on a single form.

Minister for Social Security, Ben Macpherson said: “Our extension to the Scottish Child Payment and its increase to £25 per child per week has been widely welcomed and will make a significant difference to families across the country. The increase represents a rise of 150% in just eight months.

“The increase and extension was described as a watershed moment in tackling child poverty by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and already people have applied in their tens of thousands.

“Tackling child poverty is a key mission for the Scottish Government and automating payments, where we have the information we need to do so, will mean parents and carers automatically getting the financial support they are eligible for paid directly to them.

“We are committed to making sure that receiving our five family payments is as straightforward as possible, using our limited social security powers and resources to help”.

CEO of One Parent Families Scotland, Satwat Rehman said, “We are delighted that Social Security Scotland have made changes so that parents who have applied for and receive Scottish Child Payment will no longer have to fill out separate forms to receive other family benefits.

“Many of the single parents we support are not aware of the financial support available to them and would therefore be at risk of losing out. We hope the change to automatic payments will lead to an increase in the number of families accessing benefits they are entitled to and will ease the financial and mental strain of the cost-of-living crisis.”

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