New parents could get up to £600 Pregnancy and Baby Payment
July and August are the months most of Scotland’s babies are born according to figures from National Records of Scotland.
Almost 4,500 births were registered in July 2019 while 4,357 were registered in August. This is in comparison to an average of 4,062 across the remaining ten months.
Social Security Scotland is encouraging families who have recently welcomed a new baby into the family to find out if they are eligible for up to £600 to help with the costs of a newborn.
The Pregnancy and Baby Payment is open to parents or carers on certain benefits from the 24th week of pregnancy up to the day a baby is 6 months old.
It is not only for a first child – people who already have a child, and are expecting again or have had a baby in the past six months, could be entitled to £300.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“If this year mirrors previous trends, many families will have recently welcomed a newborn into their lives. This will be a very exciting time for parents – but it can also be expensive.
“The Pregnancy and Baby Payment can help ease some of the financial pressure – especially at a time when many people have been hit hard economically by Covid-19.
“There is no cap on the number of children who can receive it – every eligible child in a qualifying family will get a payment. And if you were unable to apply on time due to Covid-19, Social Security Scotland may accept a late application.
“Social Security Scotland also offers a pre-paid Best Start Foods card for eligible families that can be used to buy healthy foods for children under 3.
“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible for these payments to find out more and apply today.”
Chief Executive of Early Years Scotland, Jane Brumpton said:
“Early Years Scotland’s pledge that every child in Scotland deserves the best start in life has not waivered during these challenging times – we continue to support children and families in many innovative ways during the pandemic.
“Our team regularly signpost families that we support to this one-off payment, and many have benefited greatly to date.
“Many parents have expressed how helpful it’s been to alleviate some of the financial stresses and expenses that can occur during pregnancy and beyond.
“All eligible families should be supported at this critical time, to support investment in the very earliest years of a child’s life, leading to more positive outcomes for children overall.”
· the payment is part of the Best Start Grant, a package of three payments delivered by Social Security Scotland to support families in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits
· qualifying benefits include: Universal Credit, Income support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
· people can apply for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment whether they are in work or not.
· people under 18 are automatically eligible and don’t have to be on a qualifying benefit.
· people can find out more and apply at mygov.scot/beststart or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222
· National Records of Scotland figures show that July and August were the most popular months for people having babies from 2015-2019.
· National Records of Scotland birth rates publications can be found here: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/births-deaths-and-other-vital-events-quarterly-figures
· In comparison, birth data from England and Wales reveals the highest number of births occur at the end of September: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/articles/howpopularisyourbirthday/2015-12-18