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Changes to Best Start Foods Payment

February 26

The new rules for Best Start Foods, delivered by Social Security Scotland, will come into effect from Monday 26th February:

Changes to the Best Start Foods Payment

If you are 18 years old or over, from Monday 26th February, you can receive the Best Start Foods payment if:

  • you live in Scotland
  • you or your partner are pregnant, or are the main person looking after a child under 3 years old
  • you or your partner get one of these benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

There are no extra checks on your income.

If you do not receive one of the benefits listed above, you can still get Best Start Foods in some circumstances:

  • If you’re under 18: you do not need to receive one of the benefits listed; you can get Best Start Foods if you or your partner are pregnant or have a child under 3 years old. Your partner can be 18 years old or over.
  • If you’re 18 or 19: years old: you do not need one of the benefits listed if your parent or carer receives one of these following benefits for you:
    • Child Benefit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Child element of Universal Credit
    • Child addition for Pension Credit
  • If you look after someone under 20 years old (who is pregnant or has a child under 3 years old): you can apply instead; for example, if you’re their parent or carer, you or your partner need to get receive of these benefits for them:
    • Child Benefit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Child element of Universal Credit
    • Child addition for Pension Credit

Existing Best Start Food Payments

The existing Best Start Foods payments will not change; people already receiving Best Start Foods payments will continue to receive these as normal. The only difference will be that, from Monday 26th February, you do not need to tell Social Security Scotland about changes to your income for Best Start Foods.

Current Rules

Those who may be eligible for the Best Start Foods payment under the existing rules are encouraged to apply as soon as possible before Sunday 25th February.

Why Are These Changes Being Made?

While the main aim of these changes is to remove any income thresholds for qualifying benefits and allow more people to access Best Start Foods, Social Security Scotland has also taken this opportunity to further align Best Start Foods with their other Five Family Payments (including Best Start Grant Payment and Scottish Child Payment), along with making a number of technical changes.

It is estimated that these changes will enable an additional 20,000 individuals to receive Best Start Foods.

Events for Support Groups and Organisations

In order to update key groups and organisations who support people and families around Best Start Foods and other Five Family Payments, Social Security Scotland has organised a series of free online information events, taking place:

  • Thursday 8th February, 1:30pm – 3pm: FULLY BOOKED
  • Wednesday 14th February, 1:30pm – 3pm: BOOKING LINK
  • Thursday 15th February, 10:30am – 12pm: BOOKING LINK

Any further events will be available via their Eventbrite page.

Further Information

For further information on these upcoming changes, please visit the news article.

Alternatively, for further information on all the Five Family Payments, visit the dedicated mygov.scot page.

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Social Security Scotland
07827 825 665
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