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Get help with money if you have a child

Types of help you can get include benefits and grants. These are:

  • Scottish Child Payment
  • Best Start Grant
  • Best Start Foods
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit
  • Child Disability Payment

Scottish Child Payment

You may be able to get Scottish Child Payment to help towards the costs of supporting a family.

It's a weekly payment of £26.70 that you can get for every child you look after who's under 16 years of age. You'll get the payment every 4 weeks if your application is successful.

You may be able to get Scottish Child Payment if all of the following apply:

  • you live in Scotland
  • you or your partner are getting certain benefits or payments
  • you or your partner are the main person looking after a child who's under 6 years old

Find out more about Scottish Child Payment.

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods are payments that help towards the costs of being pregnant or looking after a child.

Best Start Grant is made up of 3 one-off payments:

  • Pregnancy and Baby Payment
  • Early Learning Payment
  • School Age Payment

Best Start Foods is a payment every 4 weeks during pregnancy and when your child is under 3. You'll get the payments on a prepaid card you can use in shops or online to buy healthy foods like milk or fruit.

Find out more about Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods.

Child Benefit

You can get Child Benefit for any of your children who are under 16 and live in the UK. If they stay in most types of school, college or training after that age you can get Child Benefit until they're 20.

Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child.

If you get Child Benefit, you will get £24 per week for your eldest child. You will get £15.90 per week for every other child.

You should claim Child Benefit as soon as your child is born or, if they're adopted, as soon as they come to live with you. Child Benefit can only be backdated for up to 3 months so if you claim it any time after this you'll miss some payments.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on how to claim Child Benefit.

Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit

Child Tax Credit is another payment made by the government to help with the cost of bringing up a child.

While every child in the UK is eligible for Child Benefit, not every household is eligible for Child Tax Credit: it depends on your circumstances including:

  • your income
  • how many children are living with you
  • whether your child has a disability

Universal Credit will eventually replace tax credits including Child Tax Credit.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on Child Tax Credit.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on Universal Credit.

Child Disability Payment 

Child Disability Payment provides support for the extra costs that a disabled child might have. 

You can apply for Child Disability Payment for a child:

  • under 16
  • with mental or physical disabilities

You can also apply if the child’s disability has not yet been diagnosed. 

Find out more about Child Disability Payment

Advice on money, your bills and benefits

The Money Talk Team service offers free money and debt advice.

The service can help you understand what you’re entitled to and ways to save money.

It can help you find out:

  • what benefits and other financial support you may be entitled to
  • how you can manage debt
  • ways to save money on your outgoings

You can get more information on the Money Talk Team website or by calling 0800 028 1456. You can also visit your local Citizens Advice Scotland for in person support.

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