Some parents have taken to social media this week to query why their regular child benefit payments have changed. Child benefits is available to any parent or guardian in the UK, with extra benefits unique to Scottish parents as well.
Here’s what you need to know.
How much is child benefit in Scotland?
Parents and guardians can get Child Benefit for any children who are under 16 and live in the UK. If they stay in most types of school, college, or training after that age you can get Child Benefit until they're 20. Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child. If you get Child Benefit, you will get £20.70 per week for your eldest child. You will get £13.70 per week for every other child.
For parents and carers on low incomes, you may also qualify for the Scottish Child Payment. According to Citizens Advice Scotland, the Scottish Child Payments is £20 a week per child aged under six. It’s paid every four weeks by Social Security Scotland.
Parents or carers on low incomes are eligible for the payment if they have a child under six years old, nobody else is claiming Scottish Child Payment for that child, they live in Scotland, and they claim one of the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit, even if your Universal Credit is reduced to £0 by a sanction or a deduction
- Working Tax Credit
For more information on other benefits and forms of support for parents, visit the Scottish Government website here.
Why has my child benefit gone down?
Parents and carers across the UK noticed that a payment had come in earlier than expected and in a lower amount. This is due to the bank holidays for the Queen's Jubilee, as people are usually paid on Mondays. Instead, the payment came through on Friday this week.
“In short, it’s just processes and working them around the bank holidays, and nothing for customers to worry about,” an HMRC spokesperson told iNews. “We usually process payments for customers on Thursday and Fridays for the following Monday and Tuesday. Of course this isn’t possible because of the bank holidays falling on these two dates next week.
“Instead, we processed payments due Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 May earlier this week, so that we can process payments due on Monday 6 June early next week (as opposed to the usual Thursday/Friday). This will ensure customers receive payments due on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 June on time.
“In terms of the split payments, there were some things that we needed to iron out to ensure customers receive their payments on time because of the double bank holiday, which is why they have been processed in this way. This however does not leave customers out of pocket as they will still receive the full amount on or before it is usually due.”