A family on the sofa

Financial Help in Scotland over Winter for Children

When winter closes in around us, it can feel dark and depressing. The cold weather means we need to have our heating on higher and for longer. We are often eating more and with a new school term looming, many need to invest in new uniforms. Financially, it can be a tough time for many people up and down the country, especially if they are caring for children. So if you care for children or young adults under 18 and are looking for some financial help in Scotland, then we have some suggestions. 

Some of these grants are specifically for wintertime, whilst others you can apply for year-round. If you would like to discuss any of these grants in person, then get in touch with us to book an appointment.

COVID Winter Hardship Payment

In 2020, the Scottish Government announced a special grant in reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

£100 was made available for each child who received free school meals due to financial hardship. You must apply to your local council for this winter support payment. More advice on the COVID Winter Hardship Payment can be found here. 

A family together at home

Child Winter Heating Assistance 

This is a new benefit from the Scottish Government in 2020. It is to help ensure that those under 18 years of age with special needs stay warm through the colder months. 

The cold weather payment is for £200. To qualify for the payment in 2020, the child or young adult must have met two criteria on at least one day in the week of Monday 21 September. On that day they must have:

  • received the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
  • lived in Scotland

You do not need to apply for this payment. If the child or young person is eligible, you’ll be paid automatically into the same account that your Disability Living Allowance for children is paid into.

Find out more about Child Winter Heating Assistance here

Scottish Child Payments

Scottish child payments help families who have children under 6 years of age. The payments offer £10 per week, paid every 4 weeks. It’s up to you what to spend this money on – it could be for food, clothing or other needs. 

To qualify for the payment, you will need to live in Scotland and be receiving at least one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

To find out more and to apply for a Scottish Child Payment, visit the official government website. 

School clothing grants

School clothing grants are available from your local council. They are to help ensure your child is properly clothed for school. The minimum amount you will receive is £100.

You may also be able to apply for free school meals at the same time as applying for this grant. And you may further be able to claim a Best Start Grant School Age Payment. This is £250 and designed to help you get clothes for your child before starting Primary 1.

Find out more about school grants here

A mother and her daughter

Best Start Grants

There are three types of Best Start Grants:

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

You can apply for this grant 24 weeks pregnant up to the day your baby is 6 months old. If you have adopted a child, or otherwise taken over looking for one, you can apply up to the age of 1. This grant is for £600 for your first child, and £300 for your second and every child after that. You will be paid more if you have twins or triplets. 

Early Learning Payment

You can apply for this financial help in Scotland from when your baby is between 2 years old and 3 years 6 months. You can use this payment however you wish.

School Age Payment

The School Age Payment is worth £250 and is for when your child is preparing for school. Your child has to be the correct age before you can apply.

Here are the deadline dates for applying to the School Age Grant payment:

If your child’s date of birth is between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016, you can apply between 1 June 2020 and 28 February 2021.

If your child’s date of birth is between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2017, you can apply between 1 June 2021 and 28 February 2022.

You can find out more about all of the Best Start Grants and begin your application on the Scottish Government website

Best Start Foods

The Best Start Foods grant comes in the form of a prepaid card. You can use this online and in shops to buy food like vegetables, milk and fruit. Depending on the age of your child or children, you will be paid the following:

  • £17 every 4 weeks during pregnancy
  • £34 every 4 weeks from your child being born up until they’re a 1 year old
  • £17 every 4 weeks between the ages of 1 and 3

Find out more about the Best Start Foods grant and what you can spend the money on here

If you would like to speak to someone about financial help in Scotland over the winter period, or need help applying for a grant, please get in touch with us. We offer free, impartial and confidential advice to East Dunbartonshire residents. Arrange an appointment with us today.

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