Social Security Scotland – new benefits


Our Policy & Campaigns Officer, Rona Johnson looks at the benefits the new Social Security Scotland agency will be administering.

The Scotland Act 2016 transferred responsibility of some social security powers to the Scottish Parliament.

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 established the framework for the new system and also devolved 11 existing social security benefits to Scotland.

Social Security Scotland is the new agency that will administer benefits.

Epilepsy Scotland’s Policy and Welfare Rights teams have been closely working with the Scottish Government and the Social Security Scotland.

We have imparted our knowledge about how people with epilepsy are treated under the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) system. Additionally, we have shared suggestions about how the new system should run so it works better for people with epilepsy.


What benefits are Social Security Scotland administering?

Once fully operational, the Agency will administer 14 benefits totalling to £3.5 billion in payments every year.


Social Security Scotland Agency are already delivering the following benefits:


  • Carers Allowance Supplement– This is an extra payment for carers. To qualify you need to be in receipt of a full or partial Carer’s Allowance payment from the DWP. A payment of £226.20 is made every six months



  • Best Start Grant– a package of three payments giving extra money to parents and carers receiving certain low-income benefits


  • Pregnancy and Baby Payment– get £600 for a first child, and £300 for other children. In addition, If you have twins or any other multiple births, you will get an extra £300.


  • Early Learning Payment– a one-off payment of £250


  • School Age Payment– a payment of £250 when your child starts Primary 1


  • Best Start Foods– £17 every four weeks whilst pregnant, and for any children between one and three years old. This payment also increases to £34 if a child is under one


  • Funeral Support Payment– if you or your partner are getting certain benefits or tax credits, you can claim this one-off payment to help with funeral costs.


The Agency are due to administer the following benefits in the coming years:


  • Job Start Payment– a one-off payment of £250 which could help with buying new clothes for your new job. Also, if you have children, you will get £400. Spring 2020


  • Scottish Child Payment– If eligible you may get £10 per week for any child under the age of six. First payments are due to be made by Christmas 2020


  • Child Winter Heating Assistance– If you have a child with severe disabilities, you may also be able to get £200 every year to help towards heating costs. Due to be made at the end of 2020






Existing claims

It will take Social Security Scotland several years to be fully operational. There will also be a transition period for people to transfer over from DWP to Social Security Scotland.

We expect people will transfer over when their DWP benefits are being reassessed.

We anticipate that full transfer will be completed by 2025.

Have any questions you want answered? Email and we will see what we can do!