The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on everyone, particularly those who were struggling before the prices of energy, goods, and services increased.
The thing to remember is that you are not alone and there are sources of support that can help!
Scottish Child Payment
You may be entitled to Scottish Child Payment, which is a £20 payment per week for every one of your children that qualifies – with this due to increase to £25 per week from the 12th of November 2022.
This is paid monthly – you can decide how the payment is spent, but the Scottish Government set out examples of what it could go towards, including travel costs; nappies and other essentials; childcare; or family days out.
Claiming Scottish Child Payment does not affect your other benefits, however there are eligibility criteria that must all be met. If you have sole responsibility for your children, you have already met the first point, as both are children under the age of 6.
You must be in receipt of at least one qualifying benefit from:
- Child Tax Credit;
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance;
- Income-related Employment Support Allowance;
- Income Support; Pension Credit;
- Universal Credit;
- or Working Tax Credit.
You will not be entitled to the Scottish Child Payment if someone is already receiving Child Disability Payment for one of your children. You must also be resident in Scotland.
If you are eligible, you can claim by reaching out to Social Security Scotland on freephone 0800 182 2222, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. More information on the payment is available through www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment/how-to-apply.
Support with Energy Costs
There is also support available if you are struggling with energy costs. It is always a good idea to reach out to your energy supplier in the first instance, as they may be able to refer you on to hardship funds or other suitable sources of support.
Most suppliers have signed up to the ‘Energy UK Vulnerability Commitment’, which is an agreement to uphold protections for certain groups of vulnerable people.
If your supplier has signed up to this, they will not disconnect you from supply at any time of the year if there are children under the age of 6 years old living in the home.
The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship and strives to provide this support to households regardless of the fuel or payment method used.
You can find more about the fund by visiting the website at www.homeheatingadvice.scot, where you can also make an application, provided you have received energy and / or debt advice from an accredited agency. Advice Direct Scotland can make an application on your behalf, as well as check your entitlement to additional benefits. Our advisers are available on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or by visiting www.advice.scot.
We also run energyadvice.scot, the national energy advice service for Scotland, providing information and support on a range of energy-related matters. Our specialist energy advisers are available on 0808 196 8660, or through www.energyadvice.scot (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
You can access free, impartial advice on any topic from advice.scot by contacting 0808 800 9060 or by visiting www.advice.scot. Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.