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21 August, 2020 Open access

Scottish Child Payment to open for applications in November 2020, with payments to start at end of February 2021

Delivery of new benefit only two months later than originally planned is a 'significant achievement' given challenges posed by COVID-19, says Communities Secretary

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has announced that the Scottish Child Payment - which will provide low-income families with £10 per week for each child aged under six - will open for applications in November 2020, with payments to start at the end of February 2021.

As part of a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the Child Poverty Second Year Progress Report, Ms Campbell said that, although delivery of the new benefit had been delayed by the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) -

'... we have worked at pace and focused resources at ensuring that families get extra money in their pockets as soon as practically possible.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce today that the Scottish Child Payment will open for applications for under sixes in November 2020 and the first payments will be made to eligible families from the end of February 2021. This is only two months later than originally planned, which is a significant achievement given the unprecedented challenges for social security and other areas of life from COVID-19.'

NB - the Communities Secretary also announced a further £2.35 million in funding for the Employability Support Fund in this financial year, and said that the extra funding will focus on supporting local delivery in three ways - 

'First, £1 million will be invested to improve alignment with Early Learning and Childcare with local parental employability support. Second, a further £1 million will be targeted at supporting disabled parents to progress toward employment and to compete for suitable jobs. And third we will support young parents who we know will be at particular disadvantage as a result of the pandemic, to get help and support on matters such as housing and income maximisation.'

The Communities Secretary's statement to the Scottish Parliament is available from gov.scot