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Automatic benefit payments begin this week – do you qualify?

The Scottish Child Payment was expanded this week, and as a result, some benefits will start to be paid automatically from this week.

When Social Security Scotland verifies a recipient’s eligibility, they will SMS the person to let them know; once the payment has been made, they will write to let them know.

Families who are eligible for both the Best Start early learning and school-age payments do not need to submit separate applications for either one.

In April of this year, it was announced that the Best Start payments, each worth about £250, would be automatically awarded.

According to current estimates, 400,000 Scottish children under the age of 16 are eligible for the Scottish Child Payment.

The payment, which has been hailed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as the “most ambitious child poverty reduction measure in the UK”, was increased from £20 a week per child to £25 earlier this month.

Social security minister 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.”

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