Back to previous
Chapter 14: Other payments
Basic facts
    To qualify for Scottish child payment, a Best Start grant, Best Start foods and funeral support payments, you must usually receive a qualifying benefit.
    Budgeting loans from the social fund are for people who get a qualifying benefit.
    You may be eligible for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund if you get a qualifying benefit or are on a low income.
    Students are eligible for these payments in the same way as anyone else.
1. Scottish child payment
Scottish child payment is initially for people who have responsibility for a child who is under six. It is an extra £20 a week for each child, and is due to extend to people who have responsibility for a child under 16 by the end of 2022. It is paid four-weekly. You must make a claim, and payment cannot be backdated.
You are eligible if you:1Reg 18 SCP Regs
    are responsible for a child under six – eg, you get child benefit for her/him, or s/he is named on your child tax credit, universal credit or pension credit (PC) award, or you are a kinship carer for her/him; and
    you get UC, CTC, working tax credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or PC; and
    you are ordinarily resident in Scotland.
See cpag.org.uk/scotland/welfare-rights/scottish-benefits for more details. You can apply online, by phone on 0800 182 2222 or by downloading a paper form. Go to mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment for more information or to start an application.
 
1     Reg 18 SCP Regs »
2. Best Start grants
If you are pregnant or have a young child, you may be entitled to a Best Start grant. There are three separate one-off payments available.1The Early Years Assistance (Best Start Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2018, No.370 These are:
    a pregnancy and baby payment of £642.35 if it is your first child, or £321.20 for a second or subsequent child. You can apply from the 24th week of pregnancy until six months after the baby is born (applications will still be considered if you could not apply in time due to the coronavirus pandemic);
    an early learning payment of £267.65 if you have a child aged between two and three-and-a-half years old (applications will still be considered if you could not apply in time due to the coronavirus pandemic);
    a school- age payment of £267.65 in the year your child would normally start school.
You are eligible for these payments if you are under 18 (applications will still be considered if you could not apply in time due to the coronavirus pandemic) or get a qualifying benefit. You are also eligible if you are aged 18 or 19 and someone else claims child benefit, universal credit (UC), child tax credit (CTC) or pension credit (PC) for you. There are no special rules for students. Qualifying benefits are:
    UC (including if you got UC in the last month and it has now stopped);
    income support;
    income-based jobseeker’s allowance;
    income-related employment and support allowance;
    PC;
    housing benefit;
    CTC;
    working tax credit.
See cpag.org.uk/scotland/welfare-rights/scottish-benefits for more details. You can apply online, by phone on 0800 182 2222 or by downloading a paper form. Go to mygov.scot/get-help-applying-best-start-grant-foods for more information or to start an application.
 
1     The Early Years Assistance (Best Start Grants) (Scotland) Regulations 2018, No.370 »
3. Best Start foods
You can get a payment card to buy certain foods under the Best Start foods scheme if you are pregnant or have a child aged under three and you get a qualifying benefit, or if you are under 18.
Qualifying benefits are:1The Welfare Foods (Best Start Foods) (Scotland) Regulations 2019, No.193
    universal credit (if you have earnings, they must be under £660 a month);
    income support;
    income-based jobseeker’s allowance;
    income-related employment and support allowance;
    pension credit;
    housing benefit (if you have income under £328 a week);
    child tax credit (if you have income under £17,005);
    working tax credit (if you have income under £7,920 a year).
 
1     The Welfare Foods (Best Start Foods) (Scotland) Regulations 2019, No.193  »
4. Funeral support payments
Funeral support payments are to help with burial or cremation costs for a partner, family member or friend. It has to be reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the costs, and this requires looking at factors including whether it is more reasonable for someone closer to the person who has died to take responsibility. You can apply up to six months after the funeral takes place (applications will still be considered if you could not apply in time due to the coronavirus pandemic). There are no special rules for students. See cpag.org.uk/scotland/welfare-rights/scottish-benefits for more information.
You must get one of the following qualifying benefits:1The Funeral Expense Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 2019 No.292
    universal credit (including if you got this in the last month and it has now stopped);
    income support;
    income-based jobseeker’s allowance;
    income-related employment and support allowance;
    pension credit;
    housing benefit;
    child tax credit; or
    working tax credit.
 
1     The Funeral Expense Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 2019 No.292 »
5. Budgeting loans
You can get a budgeting loan to help you pay for certain items – eg, furniture, clothes, removal expenses, rent in advance, home improvements, travelling expenses, maternity expenses, funeral expenses and jobseeking expenses. If
you are claiming universal credit, you must apply for a budgeting advance instead of a budgeting loan (see here). There are no special rules for students.
The amount of budgeting loan you can get depends on the size of your family and how long you have been on benefit. To qualify, you must have been getting one of the following for at least 26 weeks before your claim is decided:
    income support;
    income-based jobseeker’s allowance;
    income-related employment and support allowance; or
    pension credit.
See CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details of who can get a loan and how to apply.
6. The Scottish Welfare Fund
Local authorities administer the Scottish Welfare Fund. This comprises community care grants to help people remain in or establish themselves in the community and crisis grants for people without money because of a disaster or emergency. To qualify, you must be on a low income. You may get a crisis grant, for example, if you are on a low income and there has been a disaster like a fire or a flood, or you have lost money that you needed to live on. Students are not excluded from applying to the Scottish Welfare Fund. More information, including how to apply, is at mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund.
7. Challenging a decision
If you think a decision about your Scottish child payment, Best Start grant or funeral support payment is wrong, you can ask Social Security Scotland (SSS) to look at it again. This process is known as a ‘redetermination’. The time limit is usually 31 days from the decision being notified to you. If you are still not happy when you get the further decision, you can appeal to the independent First-tier Tribunal. If it was not possible to ask SSS to redetermine the decision within 31 days, you can ask for a late redetermination (within one year), explaining why it is late.
You can ask for a review of a budgeting loan decision within 28 days of the day the decision was issued to you (or sometimes later, if you have special reasons or if there is a mistake in the decision about the law or the facts of your case).
You can ask for a review of a Scottish Welfare Fund decision within 20 days (or later if you have good reasons for asking for this late). If you are still not happy, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (spso.org.uk).

AskCPAG online publications