Deadline for School Age Payment approaches

Deadline for School Age Payment approaches

Ben Macpherson

Parents and guardians who get qualifying benefits or tax credits and who have a child born between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2018 are being urged to check whether they should apply for Best Start Grant School Age Payment as this year’s deadline approaches.

Applications for the one-off payment of £267.65 per child, which can be used for books, bags, clothes and equipment for school, have to be submitted by midnight on the 28 February closing date.

The Scottish Government introduced automatic payments for Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment in November 2022. Parents and guardians who get Scottish Child Payment will get School Age Payment automatically when their child reaches eligibility and within the School Age Payment window of 1 June to 28 February.

There are some people who don’t qualify for Scottish Child Payment that could be eligible for School Age Payment, including those who get housing benefit.

There may be others who choose not to apply for Scottish Child Payment who can still apply for School Age Payment. There are also parents and guardians who opted out of automatic payments so they could have more control around when they receive this money. All of these people are being urged to check if they could be due School Age Payment and to apply if they do.

Statistics last week revealed that more than £105.8 million has been paid by Social Security Scotland in the Best Start group of payments – which also includes Pregnancy and Baby Payment and Early Learning Payment.

Social security minister Ben Macpherson said: “If you have a child in the family aged five, or who turns five this month, then you could be eligible for School Age Payment.

“We are making it easier than ever to apply but we still ask people to check and make sure they know what they are entitled to.

“The Best Start Grant payments, which include School Age Payment, were the first three of our five family payments to be introduced.

“To date we’ve provided more than £100m across these three payments.

“Making these payments automatic, where we have the information to do so, will enable us to get this money to families at key stages in their child’s development and when they may face additional costs.”

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