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Changes to Best Start Foods

From 26 February 2024, more people can get Best Start Foods.

Rules from 26 February 2024

If you’re 18 or over

From 26 February, you can get Best Start Foods if:

  • you live in Scotland
  • you or your partner are pregnant, or are the main person looking after a child under 3
  • you or your partner get one of these benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

There are no extra checks on your income.

If you do not get one of the benefits listed, you can still get Best Start Foods in some circumstances.

If you’re under 18

You do not need to get one of the benefits listed. You can get Best Start Foods if you or your partner are pregnant or have a child under 3. Your partner can be 18 or over.

If you’re 18 or 19

You do not need one of the benefits listed if your parent or carer gets one of these benefits for you:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child element of Universal Credit
  • Child addition for Pension Credit

If you look after someone under 20

If you look after someone who’s under 20 and pregnant or has a child under 3, you can apply instead. For example, if you’re their parent or carer.

You or your partner need to get one of these benefits for them:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child element of Universal Credit
  • Child addition for Pension Credit

Rules before 26 February 2024

Check if you should apply now. You apply for both Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods using one application form. Read about Best Start Grant and Foods rules that apply until 25 February 2024. If you already meet these conditions, do not wait to apply.

Existing Best Start Foods payments will not change

If you get Best Start Foods now, your payments will continue as normal.

From 26 February 2024, you do not need to tell Social Security Scotland about changes to your income for Best Start Foods.

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