The families of approximately 500 children will receive additional financial support this winter to help amid the cost of living crisis.
So far this year over £265,965 has been paid to families for Clothing Grants, Bridging Payments and Free School Meal Holiday support.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in October that the Scottish Child Payment ‘Bridging Payment’ would be doubled in December to £260 per eligible child in primary or secondary.
Bridging Payments were launched in 2021 prior to the extension of the Scottish Child Payment to 6-15 year olds and these will now end in December 2022 as the Scottish Child Payment is expanded. Families have received three Bridging Payments of £130 distributed before the Easter, Summer and October holidays this year. The final Bridging Payment of £260 will be paid into bank accounts in December 2022 before schools break up for the Christmas holidays.
As with previous Bridging Payments this year, Shetland Islands Council will continue to extend the payment to families with children attending a primary or secondary school who are in receipt of a clothing grant for the current school year.
In addition to the Bridging payment, families have also been receiving Free School Meal Holiday payments each school holiday and these will continue with the next one due in December 2022.
Shetland Islands Council is further extending the December Bridging Payment to families with school aged children who are home educated and meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals or a clothing grant.
The Scottish Child Payment is already being paid by Social Security Scotland for eligible children under the age of six in Scotland. The application process for children aged 6-15 years old launches on Monday 14th November 2022. Families already in receipt of the payment for a child under six will be able to add older children to their existing award, and newly eligible families with children aged 6-15 years old will be able to apply. There is no limit to the number of children you can apply for, and receiving Scottish Child Payment will not affect your tax or other benefits.
The Scottish Child Payment is a weekly payment of £25, paid four weekly. For more information on how to apply, please visit www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment
For general support in making sure your household is receiving all the financial support and benefits you are entitled to please contact the Cost of Living helpline on 0800 030 8780 for support with speaking to services on your behalf, practical help and a friendly ear. This helpline can also provide advice regarding access to monthly food parcels and help to receive fuel vouchers.
How to get the £260 December Bridging Payment
The money will be issued to households automatically if they have registered for free school meals or a clothing grant in the current school year. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit with a Housing Element, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction and have not applied for a clothing grant for the current school year, please contact the Children’s Services Finance Team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01595 743844.
For the full eligibility criteria for clothing grant and free school meals please visit: https://www.shetland.gov.uk/support-pupils