Benefits for parents, children and young people
There may be financial help available to help you with the cost of having a baby or bringing up a child.
Before making any claims for benefits please ensure that you register the birth within the first 21 days of your baby being born.
From 15 August 2017 all new born babies in Scotland are entitled to a Baby Box.
Many parents are entitled to financial support to help with the cost of having a baby or bringing up a child. The following is a list of financial support which may be available to you during pregnancy, once you have had a baby or when you have become responsible for a child, eg through adoption.
|Financial/ "in-kind" assistance||What is it?||Who qualifies?|
|Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment||A payment of £606 for your first child and £303 for any other child.||If you are at least 24 weeks pregnant (or have given birth within the last 6 months or become responsible for a child under 1) and get certain benefits.|
|Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment||A payment of £252.50 for children aged 2 to 3 years 6 months.||If you get certain benefits.|
|Best Start Grant School Age Payment||A payment of £252.50 in the year your child should be starting school.||If you get certain benefits.|
|Best Start Foods||A prepaid card to spend on fresh eggs, milk (including formula), fruit, vegetables and pulses.||If you get certain benefits and are pregnant and/or have children aged 3 or under.|
|Statutory Maternity Pay||A weekly payment of 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks then £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.||You must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the due date of your baby and have average gross earnings of at least £120.00 per week.|
|A weekly payment of £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).||You must be the child's biological father or adopter, the mother's partner or have responsibility for the child's upbringing. You must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks up to the 15th week before the due date of your baby and have average gross earnings of at least £120.00 per week.|
|A weekly payment of £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for up to 39 weeks.||You must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks before the week you were matched with a child and have average gross earnings of at least £120.00 per week.|
|Maternity Allowance||A weekly payment of £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for up to 39 weeks.||You may get Maternity Allowance 11 weeks before your baby is due if you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.|
|Child Benefit||£21.15 per week for your first child and £14 for each subsequent child.||If you are responsible for a child or qualifying young person.|
|Scottish Child Payment||A weekly payment of £10 that you can get for every child you look after who's under 6 years of age.||If you get certain benefits.|
|Child Winter Heating Assistance||A payment of £200 for children and young people up to the age of 18.||If on on at least one day in the third full week of September they were resident in Scotland and getting the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children.|
|Universal Credit||If you are making a new claim for benefit (including help to cover rent or mortgage costs) or if you are in receipt of certain benefits and you have a change in circumstances then you will have to make an application for Universal Credit.|
|Council Tax Reduction||Help to assist people on a low income with meeting the costs of council tax.|
Losing a baby
Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay are payable if your baby is stillborn after 24 weeks pregnancy or if your baby is born alive, even just for a brief moment, and then dies, irrespective of the number of weeks.
A stillbirth occurring in Scotland must be registered within 21 days.
If your baby is stillborn before 24 weeks pregnancy other assistance may be available and individual advice should be sought by contacting Welfare Rights.
Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, provides support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.
Claiming Disability Living Allowance for a child
If you have a child aged under 16 who is disabled or affected by a long-term health problem, they may qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It is tax-free and is disregarded as an income for means-tested benefits. If awarded, you can get an increase in Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit.
An award of DLA may entitle the recipient to a and/or a Blue Badge for parking.
A person caring for a child with an award of DLA may be able to claim Carer's Benefits.
Children and young people in hospital
Children and young people under 18 years old continue to be paid their DLA or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) while in hospital. New claims for DLA or PIP can also be made for them and if awarded the benefit would go into payment. Connected benefits such as Carer's Allowance and the Motability scheme may also continue so long as the rules for them are satisfied.
Being turned down for benefit
If you have been turned down for a benefit or have received a decision that you are not happy about, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration. If the decision is not revised in your favour, you can appeal against the decision.
Making a complaint
If you are unhappy with the service you receive in relation to your benefits you may want to consider making a complaint.