Best Start Grant
Best Start Grant has now replaced the Sure Start Maternity grant in Scotland. To be eligible, you need to live in Scotland and be in receipt of certain benefits or be under 18. The Best Start grant is more generous than the Sure Start Maternity grant and consists of 3 payments.
1. Pregnancy and Baby Payment
You may be eligible if you are pregnant, have a new baby, you have adopted or if you become responsible for a child under one years old. This will be £600 for your first baby and £300 for a new baby where you have older children living with you.
Multiple births: if you have no other children living with you, then you will receive £600 per child. If you have other children, you will receive £300 for each child in a multiple birth and an additional £300 supplement.
2. Early Learning Payment
You may be eligible for this when your child turns two. This will be £250 per child.
3. School Age Payment
This relates to a payment when your child is around the age of 5. This will be £250 per child.
Who is entitled to the Best Start Grant?
If you or your partner receive any of the following benefits you will be eligible for the Best Start Grant:
- Universal credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Pension credit
- Housing benefit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
If you are not sure whether you are entitled to any of these benefits you can find more information on these on our website here: https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/financial-help-for-families/
You will be automatically eligible regardless of your income if –
- you are under 18
- you are aged 18 or 19 and someone claims child benefit, child tax credit or universal credit for you
When should I apply?
From 10th December 2018, you will be able to apply for the Pregnancy and Baby payment from the 24th week of pregnancy and up to six months after the birth of your child.
If you are responsible for a child through adoption, as a guardian, kinship carer or a surrogacy arrangement then you will be able to make claim up to the child’s first birthday as long as your application is made within six months of you becoming responsible for the child.
Remember to apply within these time limits. If you are not sure whether you are getting a qualifying benefit, you could make your claim anyway to make sure you are within the time limit.
What happens to the Sure Start Maternity Grant or if I have made an application to the Sure Start Maternity Grant?
If you have already received a Sure Start Maternity Grant or you have applied and received confirmation that you will shortly receive payments under the grant you will not be able to get a Best Start Grant for the same child.
After 10th December 2018 you will no longer be able to make an application for a Sure Start Maternity Grant if you live in Scotland.
More details and the application form are on the MyGov Scotland website.
If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.