Social Security Scotland Benefits

Social Security Scotland (SSS) is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. It is responsible for managing the benefits that are devolved to Scotland for people on low incomes, disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace and help for people to heat their homes.

Children and Family Benefits

If you have children, make sure you’re getting all the help you’re entitled to. The following support is available from Social Security Scotland (SSS) for costs during pregnancy, for babies, pre-school and school age children.

Scottish Child Payment
Help towards the cost of supporting your family. It’s a weekly payment that you can get for every child you look after who’s under 16 years of age. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by Scottish Child Payment.

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
If you are pregnant or have a baby under six months old and you get Tax Credits or certain benefits, you could be eligible for a Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment. There is no cap on the number of children it supports. You can apply from 24 weeks of pregnancy until your baby is six months old.

Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment
This is made per child when they are between the ages of two and three-and-a-half years old. You can apply even if your child is not taking a nursery place.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment
Payment made per child to help eligible families with the costs of starting school. Visit website below for application dates and guidance on when to apply, even if you are deferring.

Best Start Foods
You can get money on a pre-paid chip and pin Mastercard. This is paid every four weeks during pregnancy and up to when a child turns three years old. The card can be used to buy healthy food including eggs, milk, fruit, vegetables and pulses.

Find out more about Best Start Grants and Best Start Foods.

Child Winter Heating Assistance
Payment to help families with children and young people with a disability with the cost of energy.

Child Disability Payment
The Child Disability Payment is to assist with extra care and mobility costs children and young people with a disability may have, up to the age of 18 (this replaces the Disability Living Allowance for children living in Scotland). 

You can apply for this for a child with a mental or physical disability under the age of 16. You can also apply if they do not have a diagnosis. In such cases, you can tell SSS about how they’re affected and any symptoms they may have. 

If you already receive a Disability Living Allowance for a child you do not need to make a new application as SSS will contact you ahead of the payment being automatically transferred.

Adult Disability Payment
This payment is for adults of working age with a disability or health condition and will replace Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance currently delivered through the Department for Work and Pensions.

Clients who are already getting Personal Independence Payment or Disability Allowance Payments will not need to make a new application for Adult Disability Payment as existing clients will have their awards transferred automatically. New clients across East Lothian can apply for Adult Disability Payment now. 

Job Start Payment
This is a payment for 16 to 24 year olds who have been out of work and receiving a qualifying benefit for at least six months can apply for help with the cost of starting a new job. Also eligible are 16 to 25 year old care leavers who have been out of work and receiving a qualifying benefit on the day they receive their job offer.

Carer’s Allowance Supplement
This supplement is an additional payment, made automatically twice a year, to people already in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions on certain qualifying dates.

The payment recognises the important contribution of unpaid carers across Scotland. Carer’s Allowance Supplement will change with the introduction of the Scottish Carer Support Payment, which is entirely administered by Social Security Scotland.

This will be open to new applications in East Lothian from Spring 2024. Clients currently receiving Carer’s Allowance Supplement will transition to this new benefit over time. 

Young Carer Grant
This grant is a yearly payment for young carers in Scotland. 

To be able to get Young Carer Grant, you must be 16, 17 or 18 years old. You must also have been caring for one, two or three people for an average of 16 hours a week for at least the last three months and in receipt of a qualifying benefit. 

If you care for more than one person, you can combine the hours of the people you care for to average 16 hours a week.

How you spend the Young Carer Grant is up to you. You could use it for things like new clothes, driving lessons or a holiday. 

You can only receive a Young Carer Grant payment if no-one else has received this payment in respect of the person you care for in the last year.

Find out more

Find out more about Social Security Scotland benefits, including full eligibility and how to apply.