Families are being urged to make sure they don’t miss out on a double December Bridging Payment of £260.
The payment will be made ahead of the Christmas holidays to the families of children registered to receive free school meals on the basis of low income.
Families have already received up to £390 per child this year through Bridging Payments, with around 145,000 children being supported as of summer 2022.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison is encouraging eligible families to apply before the December school holidays so they can also receive the winter Bridging Payment.
Ms Robison said:
“I urge anyone who is eligible and not already in receipt of Bridging Payments to register for free school meals through their local authority as soon as possible to ensure they qualify for the December payment.
“We will provide almost £40 million in support this winter through the December Bridging Payments alone and, while we expect to reach in the region of 145,000 children, we don’t want anyone to miss out.
“We will also open applications for the Scottish Child Payment to all eligible under-16s from 14 November, when it will be increased to £25 per eligible child per week – a rise of 150% in less than eight months.
“We know the cost of living crisis is having a severe impact on many families, particularly for those on the lowest incomes.
“With pressures on family budgets increasing it is more important than ever to receive all the help available.
“With limited powers and a finite budget the Scottish Government can only do so much to mitigate the cost of living crisis, but we continue to do as much as possible for the people who need it most.”
COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson, Cllr Tony Buchanan, said:
“With the impact of the cost of living crisis on our families and communities continuing to grow, as Local Government we are doing all we can to ensure that people can access the support that is available.
“I encourage all families that are eligible, but not yet in receipt of Bridging Payments, to contact your local council to register for free school meals as soon as possible.
“Registering for free school meals is a straightforward process which will enable those families that need it most to receive additional financial support at this critical time, through the December payment.”