Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment

Financial support

Updated 23 September 2021

The following financial support is available for people and families on low incomes, who receive Council Tax Reduction or who have children entitled to free school meals – this does not include those entitled to universal provision of P1-4 meals:

  • Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment
  • free school meals payment for pupils who are self-isolating (not applicable during school holidays)
  • free school meals payments during school holidays
  • Family Pandemic Payment
  • Low Income Pandemic Payment

Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment

New Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments will be made for each school aged child who receives Free School Meals on the basis of low income in 2021 and 2022. These payments are funded by the Scottish Government.

Payments will be made quarterly around the start of the Easter, Summer, October and Winter holidays, with £520 paid in both 2021 and 2022.  Payments which you have received to date, including the £100 Spring Hardship Payment and the £100 Family Pandemic Payment (Summer 2021) are part of the total to be received for 2021.

A full breakdown of future payments is detailed in the table below:

Payment Value Period of eligibility Date payment to be made
Autumn 2021 £160 23 September to end of term prior to October break Friday 8 October 2021
Winter 2021 (Family Pandemic Payment and uplift) £160 30 November to end of term prior to winter break Wednesday 22 December 2021
Spring 2022 £130 2 Feb to end of term prior to Easter break To be confirmed
Summer 2022 £130 30 May to end of term proper to summer break To be confirmed
Autumn 2022 £130 23 September to end of term prior to October break To be confirmed
Winter 2022 £130 30 November to end of term prior to winter break To be confirmed

The above payments are in addition to support delivered through the continuation of Free School Meals over the school holidays and the £130 Low Income Pandemic Payment.

Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal, the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £625 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,500) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will be made automatically to households where a child/young person is in receipt of Free School Meals on the basis of low income.  The payments can be used by families for any purpose as they see fit. There is no expectation that these payments are to be used for any specific purpose.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

  1. Who is eligible to receive a Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?
  2. Any child or young person who attends primary or secondary school (including ASN schools) who is eligible for means tested free school meals, as their parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.  For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Mealspage.
  3. Are all children in P1-P4 eligible for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?
  4. No. Although, all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Mealspage.
  5. Does the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment include pre-school aged children?
  6. No, pre-school aged children are not eligible for this payment. The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6 – to find out more about this and to apply please visit the Scottish Child Paymentpage.
  7. Do I need to apply for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?
  8. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.
  9. When will I receive the £160 Autumn 2021 payment?
  10. We aim to have payments issued by Friday 8 October 2021.
  11. Will I get a payment for each of my children?
  12. Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.
  13. Will this payment affect my claim for Universal Credit?
  14. If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as Capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other Capital totalling over £6,000. If you are worried that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit accountor by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.

  1. Where can I find more information on the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?
  2. For more information on the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment, please visit the Scottish Governmentwebsite.
  3. I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t.  Who should I contact?
  4. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment use our enquiry form.