A brand new benefit for Scottish parents who are struggling with costs associated with schooling has been launched in Scotland.
The £250 ‘Best Start Grant‘ can be used for any discernible purpose, such as purchasing school uniforms or stationary, and is available to Scottish parents who are in receipt of certain social security benefits.
Parents and carers will be elible to the new benefit if their child was born between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015 and are currently in receipt of qualifing benefits.
These include: Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
It is the fourth new benefit to be introduced by Social Security Scotland since its creation on 1 September 2018, which has been commended for its caring and compassionate approach to welfare.
The Best Start Grant package also includes the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been open for applications since December 2018 and the Early Learning Payment, which launched in April.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Covering the costs of a child starting school puts pressure on family finances, and we have created this new payment to help ease that burden, putting more money into the pockets of families at a time when they need it most.
“We are committed to doing all we can to make sure Scotland is the best place for a child to grow up.
“We want to increase financial support to families, bringing equality to children by giving them help towards a fairer start.
“We also want to encourage everyone who is entitled to a payment to apply, so will be working with services to promote the benefit to ensure as many people as possible are aware they can access this new additional support.”
Details on how to apply can be found at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling the freefone number 0800 182 2222.
Applications opened on Monday 3 June and will remain open until the 29 February 2020.