Parents of newborn Lanarkshire babies could be eligible for family payments

Social Security Scotland is encouraging Lanarkshire families who have welcomed a new arrival during Scotland’s peak baby season to find out if they are eligible for family payments.

According to figures from National Records of Scotland, July is the month most of Scotland’s babies are born.

A total of 4266 babies entered the world in July last year, despite there being an overall decline in babies born in Scotland in 2020; December was the quietest month with 3692 babies born.

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Parents who get tax credits or certain benefits could be eligible for family payments, including Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Scottish Child Payment and Best Start Foods.

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment is open to parents from the 24th week of pregnancy up to the day a baby is six-months-old and Scottish Child Payment is a recurring payment of £40 every four weeks for eligible children.

Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security, said: “If this year mirrors previous trends, many families will be welcoming a newborn into their lives. This will be a very exciting time for parents – but it can also be expensive.

“Scottish Child Payment and Best Start Grant payments can help ease some of the financial pressure – especially at a time when many people have been hit hard economically by COVID-19.

“At a busy time for expectant and new mums, we wanted the application to be accessible and straightforward. Parents and carers can use the same form to apply for Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods and it only takes an average of 12 minutes for those applying online.

“Social Security Scotland also offers a pre-paid Best Start Foods card for eligible families that can be used to buy healthy foods for children under three.

“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible for these payments to find out more and apply today.”

Jane Brumpton, chief executive of Early Years Scotland, added: “We support and recognise the vital role that Scottish family payments play in helping to alleviate financial pressures for eligible parents and carers nationally.

“The peace of mind that comes with knowing there is additional financial support available for children and families is incredibly important, and it is crucial in supporting their wellbeing as we exit the pandemic during these very challenging times.”

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Daily Record – Motherwell