NEW parents or carers in Scotland could get a cash sum to help give their child the best start in life.

The Scottish Government's Best Start Grant means parents welcoming their first child are eligible for a free £600 cash payment - or a £300 payment if it is their second, third or fourth child etc.

The idea behind the grant is to help cover the costs of having children - such as buying a pram or new baby clothes.

But the nature of a cash payment means recipients can choose how they feel is best to spend the money for their newborn.

Am I eliglbe to apply?

If you're under 18, you do not need to be on any payments or benefits to apply for the payment. 

If you're a parent over 18, you can apply whether you're in work or not, as long as you're getting one of the following:

  • 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)

You cannot get Best Start Grant if you only get Child Benefit.

You must still be getting one of the benefits or payments from this list to be able to get Best Start Grant.

If you're not getting any of these benefits or payments, but have applied for one, you can still apply for Best Start Grant.

Full details can be found here.​

Glasgow Times:

I've had my baby already, can I apply?

You can apply for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment from 24 weeks pregnant up to the day your baby is six months old.

This goes up to one year if you've taken over looking after a child, such as if you've adopted.​

The Scottish Government has added that if you could not apply before your baby turned 6 months old due to the disruption caused by coronavirus you should still apply - Social Security Scotland will still consider your form.

What if I have twins or triplets?

Don't worry, the scheme covers you too.

For example, if you are having twins you will receive £600 for the first child, and an additional £300 for the second - as well as an EXTRA £300 for having more than one baby, meaning you will recieve a £1200 payment.

How can I apply?

Applications for people that are eligible can be done online on the Scottish Government website here.

You can also apply by phone, by calling 0800 182 2222 (9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday).

Full details can be found here.​