A new entitlement to support young families will be paid ahead of schedule.
It was announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2018-19, that Social Security Scotland’s first payments of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Birth Grant will be made before Christmas 2018.
The Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Grant will replace the UK Sure Start Maternity Grant. It will:
- pay £600 for the first child, and introduce £300 payments for second and subsequent children.
- extend eligibility to anyone on tax credits or housing benefit and all under 18s.
- include an application window to 24 weeks pregnant to 6 months after birth, giving applicants longer to apply.
- take applications on the phone and on-line as well as on a paper form, to give a choice depending on the needs of the applicant.
Further details on how Best Start Grant will operate will be available soon when the Scottish Government publishes the response to the consultation Early Years Assistance, Consultation on Best Start Grant Regulations.