Financial Assistance and Support

Benefits for parents, children and young people

Best Start Grant/Foods

Best start grant payment help with costs of pregnancy or new babies, early learning and the cost of starting school.  Best start foods is a prepaid card that you can use to buy healthy foods for children under 3 years of age.  For more information including who qualifies and how to apply visit the Scottish Government website.

Carers Allowance

If you're 16 or over and care for someone for more than 35 hours per week, you may be able to claim Carers Allowance. Full details of eligibility criteria can be found on the Government website.  Claiming carers allowance can affect other benefits of both the carer and the person being cared for.

Carers Allowance Supplement

This is an extra payment for people in Scotland who get Carers Allowance on a particular date. Carers Allowance Supplement is paid 2 times in a year. More details can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Child Benefit

If you are responsible for a child under 16 or under 20 and still in education or approved training, you can claim child benefit. More information including how to apply can be found on the Government website.

Child disability payment

Child disability payment has replaced Disability living allowance (DLA) and can be paid until the child is 18 years old. The disability can be mental or physical. You can also apply if a disabled child does not have a diagnosis. You can find out more information, including who may be eligible and how to apply, on the Scottish Government website.

Child Winter Heating Assistance

This is a payment to help disabled children, young people and their families with increased heating costs over winter and is paid once a year. More information including who qualifies and if you need to apply can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Community Care Grant

This will help you cope financially if you have special difficulties and require goods such as furniture and appliances. Cash payment are made in certain circumstances. You can find out more information, including who is eligible and how to apply, on the Community Care Grant section of our website.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction helps people with low income to pay their Council Tax.  We assess how much you are entitled to based on your income, savings and the number of people living in your household.  You can find out if you are entitled to Council Tax Reduction and how to apply on our Council Tax Reduction page.

Crisis Grant

A Crisis Grant is a sum of money that can help cover costs of essentials in times of crisis. You can find out more information including who is eligible and how to apply on the Crisis Grant section of our website.

Educational Maintenance Allowance

A weekly payment of £30 to help 16 to 19 year olds with the cost of continued learning, entitlement depends on your household income and your education. You can find more information including how to make an application and if you qualify on our Education Maintenance Allowance page.

Financial help in the early years

For detailed information about financial help in the early years, from pregnancy to school age, you can download our leaflet.

Free school meals and help with school wear

Children in P1 - P5 will automatically receive free school meals during term time. You must meet income criteria to be eligible for free school meals in P6 - S6 or to be considered for school wear.  More information including how to make an application and who qualifies can be found on our Free School Meals and Clothing Grant page.

Funeral Support Payment

If you are on a low income and are responsible for the funeral of the deceased, you may qualify for a funeral support payment. You can find out more including how to apply on the Scottish Government website . You can also phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 222.

Help paying your rent

Assistance is available through Discretionary Housing Payment and Housing Benefit.  You can find information on eligibility, how to check entitlement and how to apply on the Help paying your rent page  of our website.  If you receive Universal Credit housing element, you are not eligible for Housing Benefit but can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment.

Maternity Allowance

If you can't get statutory maternity pay, are self employed or have recently stopped working you may qualify for maternity allowance.  You can find more information, including how to claim on the Government website.

Scottish Child Payment

This is a weekly payment of £10 per child for children under 6. You can find more information about this including who qualifies and how to apply on the Scottish Government website.

Tax Credits

You can no longer make any new applications for tax credits, you should now apply for Universal Credit instead.

Transition Fund

If you are aged 16 - 25 and have an impairment or disability you can apply for money from Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland to help you take part in a new activity or skill. You can find out information including who is eligible and how to apply on the ILF Scotland website.

Universal Credit

This is a means tested benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces a number of existing benefits and Tax Credits. You can find more information including who is eligible and how to apply on the Government website.

Young Carer Grant

If you are a young carer in Scotland aged between 16 - 18, you may qualify for this. You can find out more information including how to apply on the Scottish Government website . You can also phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.