Benefits and debt advice - coronavirus update

Help for parents and carers with responsibility for a child

There are many sources of financial and other help for parents and carers looking after a child. 

As becoming a parent or carer is a major change in circumstances, you should get a full benefit check to see exactly what you may be entitled to.

Call the Advice Line on

0131 200 2360

or email

[email protected]


Child Benefit

This is a universal payment for those with caring responsibilities for children under the age of 16 (or 20 if in approved education or training). For the first child a £21.05 per week payment is made, additional children bring a payment of £13.95 per week. There is no limit on how many children can be claimed for.

Earning more than £50,000 will mean a Tax Charge applies. View more about Child Benefit on the UK Government website.


Best Start grants

These are payments available through Scottish Government to help with the costs of being pregnant and having care of a child. Parents or carers need to be on a low income though those under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. A child could still be eligible after they turn 18 years old, if COVID-19 meant that they couldn’t get their application in on time.

These grants provide up to 3 payments per child from pregnancy to when a child starts school. The pregnancy and baby, early learning and school age payments could total £1100 for the first child.

Also a prepaid card helps to buy healthy foods during pregnancy and for children under 3 years old.

Find out about the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods on the Scottish Government website.


Scottish Child Payment

This is a £10 per week payment from Scottish Government for families on a low income with a child under the age of 6 years old as of 15 February 2021.

Applications can be made now with payments starting in February 2021.

To claim call

0800 182 2222

Find out more about the Scottish Child Payment on the Scottish Government website.


Universal Credit (UC)

If you are claiming UC then additional payment may be available if a child is in your household. The amount will depend on the exact circumstances of your child such as age and whether they have a disability, and what other income you may have.

To find out more about whether you are eligible for UC, call the Advice Line on

0131 200 2360

or email

[email protected]

Find more details Universal Credit on the UK Government website.


Child Tax Credits

If you are already in receipt of Child Tax Credits (CTC) and then have an additional child you should inform CTC immediately. If you have more than 2 children you are unlikely to receive additional assistance however there are exceptions.  View the entitledto website to use their free benefits calculator.

A new claim for CTC can only be made if you are in receipt of Severe Disability Premium through

  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit

Find more information on Child Tax Credits and how make a claim on the UK government website.

Carers Allowance Supplement

An additional payment to those who are caring for someone and living on a low income. £230 paid to carers twice a year. Find out more on the Carers Allowance Supplement on the UK Government website.

Young Carer Grant

An annual payment of £305 for young carers aged 16-18 years old who are caring for someone an average 16 hours per week. Find out more about the Young Carer Grant on the UK Government website.