This new benefit is unique to Scotland and will give eligible parents and carers £40 every four weeks for every child under six they look after.
Since the benefit opened early for applications in November 2020, we have received more than 77,000 applications.
We are doing final eligibility checks on applications already received and we are starting to issue decision letters to applicants.
The first decision and payments for those who are eligible will arrive from later this month. We are working to ensure that everyone who applied before Monday 15 February will get a decision and, if eligible, their first payment by no later than the end of April.
We would like to reassure families that applied early for the payment, if their application is successful, their payment will be backdated to 15 February 2021. People who apply from Tuesday 16 February onwards will have their payment calculated from the day that they apply.
We appreciate your continued support and the sharing of this information to help minimise the amount of clients contacting us for updates on their application – people should not be concerned if someone they know receives a decision before them.
When we get high volumes of people calling to check, it means we have to move colleagues away from processing applications and payments to take the calls and this can impact how long it will take to get decisions and payments to eligible families.
Clients who included their mobile number on their application will receive a text every two weeks to update them on the status of their application until they receive their decision letter.
As with all of our benefits, we have a range of stakeholder resources available to help you raise awareness of the Scottish Child Payment and we have created some materials to help manage clients expectations through this initial busy period, which we would be grateful if you could share as appropriate.
We would like to thank you all for your support in raising awareness of Scottish Child Payment to the parents and carers you support across your organisation. It is great that so many people have already applied but there are many families that we still need to reach. Please continue to promote Scottish Child Payment to help us make sure that everyone who is entitled to this money knows about it and knows how they can apply.