How to apply
You do not need to apply for Best Start Grant School Age Payment if you already get Scottish Child Payment for this child. Social Security Scotland will pay you automatically if your child is the right age.
To complete the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods form, you'll need:
- your name, date of birth and address
- your National Insurance number, if you know it
- your bank, credit union or building society account details
- if you have a partner, their name and date of birth
- details of any children you have or care for
If you do not know your National Insurance number, visit GOV.UK to find out what you can do.
If you want to set up a bank account, visit Citizens Advice Scotland's website for information on how to do this.
If you do not have a bank account and do not wish to set one up, you can be paid Best Start Grant in the same way you're paid your other benefits. If you want to request this, call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222. The opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
We can now make automatic payments for certain benefits without the need to apply. If you get Scottish Child Payment we’ll check if you can get Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and Best Start Grant School Age Payment. Read more at: other benefits you might be able to get.
If you’re applying for Best Start Foods and have no access to public funds, you need to let Social Security Scotland know when you apply. Find out more about getting Best Start Foods if you have no access to public funds.
Most people take around 10 to 20 minutes to complete the form, but it's okay if it takes you longer. You'll not be able to save the form and come back to it later, because it has to be completed all at once.
You cannot apply online if:
- you're 18 or 19 and do not get any benefits or payments but your parent or carer gets one of these for you
- you do not have a permanent address
- you do not have a bank account and have agreed a way for the Department for Work and Pensions to pay you
- you're applying for someone who cannot manage their own affairs
You'll need to apply by phone or post if any of these apply to you.
You should not reapply for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods for the same child if you've already applied and are waiting to hear back. This can cause delays and it may take longer for Social Security Scotland to process your application.
Apply by phone
Call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222 to make your application over the phone. The opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
If you're a British Sign Language user, you can use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.
Apply by post
You can apply by filling in a paper form.
If you'd like a pre-paid envelope to send documents to Social Security Scotland, call them free on 0800 182 2222 and they'll send you one.
If you need a large print paper form
You can get a large print paper form by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.
If you do not want to apply in English
Call 0800 182 2222 free to apply over the phone in any of over 100 languages.
Languages you can request include Urdu, Polish, Scottish Gaelic and many of the other languages used in Scotland. The online and paper application forms are only in English.
If you need any help
If you're not able to fill in an online or paper form, you can get help to complete it by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222. The opening times are Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
You and your data
If you want to know more about how Social Security Scotland uses your data, read the privacy notice.
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