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Who can apply

To get Job Start Payment, all these things must apply to you:

Apply as a young person

Read the 'To get Job Start Payment you must' section.

Apply as a care leaver

If you're a care leaver, there are some differences in your application for Job Start Payment. Read the 'To get Job Start Payment as a care leaver you must' section.

What a care leaver is

You're a care leaver if you've spent time in care but stopped being looked after on, or after, your 16th birthday. This could have been in either a foster, residential, secure or formal kinship care placement.

To get Job Start Payment you must

have been aged between 16 to 24 years when you were offered the job

You can apply if you were offered the job no later than the day before you turn 25.

have been out of paid work for 6 months or more when you were offered the job

You need to have been out of paid work for at least 6 months running up to the day you were offered your job.

have been getting one of these benefits for 6 months or more when you were offered the job

  • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit (UC)

You need to have been getting either Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the date of your job offer. If you were getting Contributions JSA or Contributions ESA before this you can still apply, as long as you were on these benefits for at least 6 months.

If you're not sure which one you get, Social Security Scotland will check this for you.

have been offered a job in the last 3 months

You need to have been offered a job and expect to work at least 12 hours a week, averaged over a 4-week period. You can apply for Job Start Payment up to 3 months after the date you were offered your job.

You'll also need to send Social Security Scotland confirmation of your job offer. This can be a letter, an email or a text message from your new employer. If you're self-employed, you can send evidence of an offer of work or a contract. They accept photocopies or screenshots of these and they can be uploaded online or posted.

have been living in Scotland on the day you were offered the job

It's okay if you moved out of Scotland after this to take the job.

not have been paid Job Start Payment in the past 2 years

You can only be paid Job Start Payment once every 2 years. If you've been paid Job Start Payment before and more than 2 years have passed since the date you got the payment, then you can apply again.

To get Job Start Payment as a care leaver you must

have been aged between 16 to 25 years on the date you were offered your job

You can apply if you were offered the job no later than the day before you turn 26.

have been out of paid work on the date you were offered your job

You need to have been out of paid work on the day you were offered your job.

have been getting one of these benefits on the date you were offered your job

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit (UC)

If you're not sure which one you get, we'll check this for you.

have been offered a job in the last 3 months

You need to have been offered a job and expect to work at least 12 hours a week, averaged over a 4-week period. You can apply for Job Start Payment up to 3 months after the day you were offered your job.

You'll also need to send Social Security Scotland confirmation of your job offer. This can be a letter, an email or a text message from your new employer. If you're self-employed, you can send evidence of an offer of work or a contract. They accept photocopies/scans or screenshots of these and they can be uploaded online or posted.

have been living in Scotland on the day you were offered your job

It's okay if you moved out of Scotland after this to take the job.

not have been paid Job Start Payment in the last 2 years

You can only be paid Job Start Payment once every 2 years. If you've been paid Job Start Payment before and more than 2 years have passed since the date you got the payment, then you can apply again.

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