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Scottish Green Party

06/03/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2019 17:35

GREENS ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO APPLY FOR NEW SCHOOL GRANT

Mon 3 Jun, 2019

The Scottish Greens are encouraging all eligible families to apply for a new payment available to some families with children starting school, opening for applications today (3 Jun)

Families claiming low-income benefits can apply for the new Best Start GrantSchool-Age payment. This provides a one-off payment of £250 to help families with the cost of preparing for school around the time a child might start Primary 1.

It comes shortly after the launch of payments aimed at new babies, and children starting nursery. Across the first five years of a child's life, families can receive up to £1,100.

Across Scotland, almost 10,000 families have received £3.7m in support from the new Best Start Baby and Pregnancy Payment.

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader and Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said:

'Hundreds of thousands of Scots every year miss out on social security payments because either they do not know they can claim, or aren't supported to do so. Over £1bn goes unclaimed every year.

'As a new form of assistance, it is all the more important that the Scottish Government maximises the number of eligible families who are aware of what they can get and who apply successfully.

'That is why Greens have been calling for expansion of income maximisation schemes that raise awareness of social security entitlements and offer support to apply for them. One such scheme, Healthier, Wealthier Children, which is putting millions into the pockets of families when it would otherwise go unclaimed, is being rolled-out across Scotland because of Green action.

'We should be building a new Scottish social security system that doesn't simply wait and hope people will apply, but actively reach out to make people aware of what support they are due and ensure that gets to them. Making families aware that children starting school can get this new help is an important part of that.'

Applications can be made online via mygov.scot/best-start-grant or by calling 0800 182 2222