THOUSANDS of families on low incomes will get a bank boost from today.
Tens of thousands of Scottish households will receive an extra £260 a year after the Child Payment was increased by £5 a week.
The payment will now be worth £25 a week for families on certain benefits that have at least one child.
Eligible families will see the £5 weekly boost in their next monthly payment, which adds up to £260 across the year.
In addition to this, the weekly payment has now been extended to families with children under 16.
It was previously only available for families with children aged under six.
The Sun has contacted Social Security Scotland, which handles the Scottish Child Payments, to see how many more families the change will impact.
Who is eligible for the payment?
You’ll need to be in receipt of the below benefits to receive the £25 weekly payment:
- Child Tax Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit – if your UC is reduced to £0 by a sanction or a deduction, you can still get Scottish Child Payment
- Working Tax Credit
If you’ve applied for one of the above benefits but have not yet received a decision, you can still apply for the Scottish Child Payment.
You must also show that you or your partner are responsible for the child under 16 on the day you apply.
You can do this by proving you:
- receive Child Benefit for them
- are responsible for them for Child Tax Credit
- are a kinship carer
If you’re a kinship carer you’ll need to show a legal order or letter from the local council.
This might come in the form of a kinship care order, compulsory supervision order, residence order, permanence order or guardianship order.
How can I apply?
It’s up to your local council to allocate and distribute the payment so you should check their website for more details.
You can also contact the Social Security Scotland freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222.
Plus, you can apply online or by post via the Scottish Government’s website.
However, families are being told the Social Security Hotline will be “extremely busy” today, November 14, so it might be easier to apply online.
If you include your mobile number on your application, you will receive a text every two weeks to update you on its progress until you receive your decision letter.
Once the application is processed, the payment will be made into your bank account.
Payments will be backdated to the date you applied.
What other help is on offer?
If you don’t live in Scotland, there’s still plenty of help on offer.
Thousands of households can get £100 free cash for food, energy bills and other essentials this winter through the Household Support Fund.
The new £421 million pot has been available since October this year and is available until March, 2023.
However, what you’ll get will depend on where you live as each council has been allocated a different amount and is divvying it out in different ways.
To see what help might be available to you, it’s best to contact your local council.
Plus, millions of households have started receiving a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment is being dished out by energy suppliers and is split between October and March next year as six instalments.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
Plus, hundreds of thousands of families can claim £2,000 free cash to help towards childcare through the tax-free childcare scheme.
If you’ve got a disabled child you can get up to £4,000 a year.
This month, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023 as well.
Energy providers often offer energy grants and schemes to help you out if you’re struggling as well.
For the full list, you can see our guide here.
Several energy firms are paying customers to use their energy at “off-peak” times too via a National Grid scheme.
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