Categories
Social Security

New benefit to help with heating costs

Extra support for families of disabled children.

The Scottish Government will take forward legislation to enable delivery of the new Child Winter Heating Assistance.

This is the first disability benefit to be introduced using new social security powers.

Families with children in receipt of the highest rate care of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Child will receive an extra £200 to help with their heating costs.

These payments will be made automatically to eligible families through Social Security Scotland. This benefit is on track to be delivered this winter.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“I am delighted that we will be delivering the new Child Winter Heating Assistance in time for families to benefit from it as we move into the colder months.

“This extra money will help the families of the most seriously disabled children with the additional costs that they can have with heating a home.

“Families do not need to take action or apply for this benefit, Social Security Scotland will make the payments automatically to all eligible families.

“Despite the impact of the pandemic and having to adapt to new and different ways of working, we have prioritised its implementation so we can reach families in need at this particularly difficult time.”

Background

A client will qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance if they live in Scotland and are in receipt of the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children on at least one day between 21 September 2020 to 27 September 2020

Social Security Scotland will automatically pay Child Winter Heating Assistance without needing an application.

Categories
Social Security

New benefit for young people starting work

Financial help with the cost of a new job

A new benefit to support 16 to 24 year old into work if they have been unemployed for six months is now open for applications.

Job Start Payment is a one off £250 payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.

In its first year, it is estimated around 5,000 young people will benefit from this new financial support.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“I am delighted that our Job Start Payment is today now open for applications; it really couldn’t come at a better time to support our young people to take up job offers.

“Young people are among those whose job prospects have been hardest hit by this pandemic. As such, it is crucial that we support them and ensure they are at the heart of our economic recovery from COVID-19.

“Last week, we announced an additional £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices. Combined with our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Scotland’s Youth Guarantee, we will ensure no one is left behind.

“Building on this work to create opportunities, this new benefit will also help young people after a period of unemployment. Getting a job can represent a massive turning point for many young people, but it can also bring financial pressures.

“Costs like travel, new work clothes, or childcare often have to be met before people get their first pay.

“The brand new Job Start Payment will help young people with these costs, which can sometimes be a barrier to them taking up an offer and we will be encouraging anyone eligible to apply. ”

Skills Development Scotland’s Director of Career Information Advice Guidance Operations, James Russell said:

“This new payment will offer welcomed practical help to many young people who our advisers are supporting at this time.

“It will be especially important to those taking their next steps into employment and who may need some additional support to start the right career opportunity for them.”

Categories
Coronavirus Social Security

Extra funding to support low income families

Scottish Welfare Fund payments rise to £37.6 million.

Funding of £37.6 million was allocated to support people and families on low incomes in times of need in the 12 months to 31 March 2020 – an increase of 7% on the previous year.

Scottish Welfare Fund payments included £12.9 million in Crisis Grants – up 24% – and £24.7 million on Community Care Grants.

The fund received 296,870 applications for help, with the most common reason families gave being their benefits or other income had been spent – up 27% on the previous year.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“This is further evidence that the UK Government’s benefits cuts are hitting the poorest in Scotland the hardest, with more and more people struggling just to make ends meet and being pushed to rely on food banks, or suffer from the stress of debt and rent arrears.

“That’s without taking into consideration the significant financial impact that coronavirus (COVID-19)is having on some of those earning the least in our society.

“We took early action in March to more than double the Scottish Welfare Fund to £80.5 million this year in response to the expected impact of coronavirus, and we have made an additional £110 million available to support people struggling to access food during the pandemic.

“That funding will help local authority partners continue to support people at this time and we would encourage anyone in need of support to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.”

Background

Scottish Welfare Fund annual statistics 2019/20 

Categories
Carers Coronavirus Social Security

Extra payment for carers to help through coronavirus

Eligible carers to get an additional £230.10.

In recognition of the additional pressure that unpaid carers are under at this time, the Scottish Government will be making a Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement payment later this month.

This one-off payment is in addition to the regular six monthly Carer’s Allowance Supplement. As a result, eligible carers will get a payment of at least £460.20. This will be paid from Friday 26 June.

As with the current supplement, carers will not need to do anything to get this extra payment as it will be paid automatically to people who were living in Scotland and in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on 13 April 2020 eligibility date. Social Security Scotland will write to eligible carers in advance.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Carer’s Allowance Supplement was one of the first payments we introduced using our new social security powers. This was in recognition of the contribution that carers make to our society. They provide vital support to family, friends and neighbours.

“Coronavirus is putting even more demands on carers. It is hard emotionally – carers will inevitably be concerned about their own health, and that of the people they care for. However in many cases, it will also be difficult financially.

“The payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours of unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This extra payment is one way of providing some additional help  – and of acknowledging that we know that carers are doing even more right now. We thank them for that.”

Categories
Education Social Security

Parents In Dundee Encouraged To Apply For Best Start Grant

Joe FitzPatrick MSP for Dundee City West Constituency has encouraged parents of children aged four to five to apply for the SNP Government’s Best Start Grant.

A one-off £250 payment is currently open to eligible families, with a child who was born between 1st March 2015 and 29th February 2016, who will be starting primary school later this year (unless they have made different arrangements).

The School Age payment can be used for anything from a new pair of school shoes or arts and crafts materials for children.

The payment is part of the SNP Government’s Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families in receipt of eligible benefits – including Universal Credit and Housing Benefit – to help at key stages in a child’s life.

Commenting, Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:

“Covering the costs of a child starting school can be tough on family finances, especially in the current climate.

“The SNP Government’s school age payment offers low income families, or those who receive support like Universal Credit, a £250 payment around the time children start at primary school.

“We’re absolutely determined that every child, regardless of circumstances, gets the best start in life. So in these unprecedented and difficult times, I’d encourage families across Dundee to check what other financial support they may be eligible for too – such as school clothing grants or free school meals.”

Visit mygov.scot or call 0800 182 2222 to find out more or apply.

If your child was born later than February 2016, you’ll be able to apply after May 2021.

If you get the School Age Payment, you’ll get £250 for each child you can get the payment for. The School Age Payment has not replaced the School Clothing Grant. The School Age Payment is a new payment and does not affect in any way payments of the School Clothing Grant. If you want to apply for both, you can.

Categories
Carers Coronavirus Social Security

£230 ScotGov Boost for Dundee Carers

Investment of £19.2 million to support 83,000 carers in Scotland, including 2,615 in Dundee.

As part of the next emergency coronavirus legislation, the Scottish Government is proposing an additional £19.2 million investment in Carer’s Allowance Supplement, which will deliver an extra £230 to carers in Dundee and across Scotland.

This is in recognition of the additional pressure that carers are under as a result of the ongoing pandemic. 

If approved by parliament, around 83,000 eligible carers will get an extra £230.10 through a special one-off Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June.

2,615 carers in Dundee will benefit from the extra payment.

“Carers in Dundee make an absolutely vital contribution to our society, and it’s only appropriate that their hard work is valued and they are properly supported by the Scottish Government.

“This one-off payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This additional payment will be an acknowledgement to carers that we know they are providing vital support to family, friends and neighbours, and playing an absolutely crucial role in our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I am delighted that carers in Dundee are being recognised by the SNP Government for the important contribution they make to our communities in these extremely difficult circumstances.”

Dundee City West MSP, Joe FitzPatrick

As with the current supplement, they will not need to do anything to get this extra payment as it will be paid automatically to people in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

This would mean that carers receive an additional £690.30 this year on top of their Carer’s Allowance and any other income. This supplement is not paid in the rest of the UK.

“We introduced the Carer’s Allowance Supplement to recognise the important contribution unpaid carers play in our society. They provide vital support to family, friends and neighbours. Our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus will see many of these carers experiencing additional pressures, particularly financial, right now.

“The payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This additional payment would be an acknowledgement to carers that we know that they are doing even more right now, and we thank you.”

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Anne Somerville