Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments

The Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments were previously known as the COVID Hardship Grants.

What is the grant and who is eligible?

Families with children of school age, receiving free school meals on the basis of low income are eligible for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments from the Scottish Government.   Eligible families will receive the Scottish Government grant through Aberdeen City Council – we are administering the grant on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Child Payment is being paid to children under the age of 6, with the payment to older children and young people scheduled to start from the end of 2022.  Due to these timescales, the Scottish Government have agreed support for school age children though these bridging payments until they can roll out Scottish Child Payment to all children and young people.

2021 Payments

  • Autumn payment - £160
  • Winter payment - £160

2022 Payments

  • Easter Payment - £130
  • Summer Payment - £130
  • Autumn Payment - £130
  • Winter Payment - £130

The payment is per child not per household.

P1to 4 pupils receiving free school meals due to universal provision, not due to low income, are not eligible.

P1 to P4 pupils where the family meet the benefit criteria for the free schools meals will receive the grant and should apply for free school meals if they have not already. 

We are using the information on who is currently in receipt of free school meals to verify entitlement, so families should apply for free school meals where they have not been automatically awarded them.

What can the grant be used for?

There are no restrictions on how families choose to spend the additional payment and it is anticipated that common uses may include paying for food, fuel, and other essentials.

How to apply?

All families are required to re-apply for Free School Meals in September to show their entitlement under the low-income scheme.  The application form has been amended to allow your bank details to be collected to allow all the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments to be made until the summer 2022 payment.

What my if bank details change?

If your bank details have changed, please complete a new Free School Meal application in order to update your bank details. 

Who is eligible for free school meals due to low income?

Families with children in receipt of free school meals due to reasons of low income are eligible for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment. Eligibility for free school meals based on low income, is where the household is in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an income of less than £16,105
  • Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an income of up to £7,500
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit with a monthly earned income from your employer of not more than £625
  • Universal Credit, with a single parent/carer working less than 16 hours per week with an annual earned income from employment of less than £16,105
  • Universal Credit, with both parents/carers working less than 24 hours per week with an annual earned income from employment of less than £16,105

Who will not get the payment?

You will not get the payment if your child: 
•    gets universal free school meals in primary 1 to 4 and you do not meet the eligibility criteria 
•    does not go to a council school 
•    is home educated 
•    is in pre-school

When will new free school meals applications be processed?

New free school meal applications will be processed on an ongoing basis by schools. The SCP Bridging Payment will be made to families where the application is received by the following dates (subject to approval of the application).

  • Friday 8 October – to receive the Autumn 2021 payment.
  • Thursday 21 December – to receive the Winter 2021 Payment

Where an application is made after the winter payment date (11 December), payment of the benefit will be made 13 January 2022.

Where we already hold evidence that you are entitled to these benefits, we will automatically award them and notify you via email or SMS message. If you have not received a communication from us by 30 September, please complete a free school meal application. 

When do I get the grant?

  • Payments for the £160 per child Autumn 2021 SCP Bridging Payment will be issued on 5 November..
  • Payments for the £160 per child Winter 2021 SCP Bridging Payment will be issued on 11 December.
  • Payments for 2022 will typically to be paid two weeks before each school holiday period.  Payment dates will be updated on this page closer to the time.

How do I get the money?

A cash payment by bank transfer is preferable and alternative methods would be used where there is not a bank account or in other circumstances, such as debt, which would mean that a payment into a bank account would not achieve the aims of payment. You can ask for an alternative payment when you apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recognise that you may not have digital access at this time. You can ask a friend, family member or support worker to apply on your behalf. All applications need to be completed online. If you require dedicated support from us to apply, you can phone our Aberdeen City Support Line on 0800 0304 713 and we can provide guidance over the phone. We also have guidance on how to log in or register for our online services, including  how to complete our online forms available.

Any bounced payments will be re-issued after we have been refunded the money from you bank and confirmed new bank details confirmed.

It may be that the information in your claim did not match the information held by your child’s school. This could be the address or who the main contact is for the child.  It may also be that an incorrect code to apply was used. In these cases, we will contact you to check your details and eligibility. 

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