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How much are the Best Start Grant payments

This advice applies to Scotland

The Best Start Grant is a Scottish benefit to help parents and carers on low incomes with the costs of looking after children. It is a package of 3 different payments, which can be applied for as a child gets older.

How much is the School Age Payment

The School Age Payment is a one off payment of £252.50. It increased from £250 to £252.50 on 1 April 2021. 

There is no limit on the number of children in a family that you can get the payment for.

How much is the Early Learning Payment

The Early Learning Payment is a one off payment of £252.50. It increased from £250 to £252.50 on 1 April 2021. 

There is no limit on the number of children in a family that you can get the payment for.

How much is the Pregnancy and Baby Payment

You’ll get a different amount of Pregnancy and Baby Payment depending on whether you’re applying for a first or later child.

You'll usually get £606 for a first child and £303 for a second or later child. If you applied before 1 April 2021 you'll get £600 for a first child and £300 for a second or later child.

You’ll also get more money if you are expecting more than 1 baby. For example, you are having twins.

If this is your first child

You’ll get £606 if the baby is your first child.

You’ll only get the £606 payment for a child if there is no one else living in your household who is under 16 and for whom you are responsible. You are usually responsible for a child if you are getting Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or the child element of Universal Credit for them.

For example, if you have a 17 year old step-son living with you, and then you have a baby, you’ll get a Pregnancy and Baby Payment of £606 for your baby. This is because your step-son is over 16 and so is not treated as your first child.

If this is your second or later child or you already have a child living in your family

You’ll get £303 if the baby is not your first child.

If there is anyone else living in your household who is under 16 and for whom you are responsible, then they will be counted as a 'first child'. You are usually responsible for a child if you are getting Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or the child element of Universal Credit for them.

For example, if you have a 10 year old step-son living with you, and then you have a baby, you’ll only get a Pregnancy and Baby Payment of £303 for your baby. This is because your step-son is treated as your first child.

There is no cap on the number of children you can get a Pregnancy and Baby Payment for.

If you have twins or more than 1 baby in the same pregnancy

If you are expecting more than 1 baby, for example twins or triplets, you can get an extra £303. This is called a 'multiple pregnancy supplement'.

For example, if you have twins and 1 of the children is your first child, you will get £1,212 in total. This is made up of £606 for the first twin, £303 for the second twin and £303 for the multiple pregnancy supplement.

If you have twins and they aren’t your first children, you will get £909 in total. This is £303 for the first twin, £303 for the second twin and £303 for the multiple pregnancy supplement.

How are the payments made

The payments will usually be made into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If you get other benefits paid into a Post Office Card Account, you can get your payment made to this account.

You can choose for the payment to be made into someone else’s account if you wish, such as your partner’s account. You should always make sure that you will be able to get the money to spend on your child. If you want to do this, put the other person's bank account details into the 'Payment details' section on the application form. 

You should receive the payment within 10 working days of applying.

If you don't have a bank account

If you don’t have a bank account, you can arrange to get the payment in the same way that you get your other benefits. There is a box on the application form that you can tick to say that you don’t have a bank account. For example, you may be able to get i-movo vouchers. Read more about the i-movo vouchers on our page about payment of benefits.

What if I’m paid a Best Start Grant payment by mistake

If Social Security Scotland pays you a Best Start Grant payment by mistake, you might have to repay it.

You won’t have to repay it if the mistake:

  • wasn’t your fault – for example, Social Security Scotland made a mistake
  • was something you couldn’t be expected to notice – it might be hard to argue that you didn’t notice being paid a Best Start Grant payment as they are fixed amounts and don’t vary like other benefit payments might do.

A mistake might be your fault if for example you gave Social Security Scotland incorrect information in your application form.

Read more about how Social Security Scotland decide if you have to pay back a benefit.

For example, if you weren't responsible for a child when you applied, perhaps because they had gone to live with a relative, and you didn't realise that you should have told Social Security Scotland about this when you applied, then this might be your fault. If you did know that you should have told Social Security Scotland about this, then you could have committed a criminal offence.

Read more about Scottish benefit fraud.

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