In a significant move aimed at supporting the working population, the Scottish Government is urging Scottish workers to explore their eligibility for various benefits administered by Social Security Scotland. This initiative, particularly relevant in the aftermath of the festive season, targets both full-time and part-time workers, reminding them of potential financial support available to them.
Central to this campaign is the Job Start Payment, a one-time lump sum designed to ease the transition into new employment. This payment, amounting to £294.70 or £471.50 for the main carer of one or more children, is intended to help cover initial expenses such as travel, work attire, or childcare. Eligibility for this payment is particularly focused on young people aged between 16 and 24 who are on benefits and have been unemployed for at least six months before securing a job.
The Scottish Government has extended this provision for care leavers, who can apply until the day before their 26th birthday. Importantly, they need only be out of work and receiving a qualifying benefit on the day they receive their job offer, unlike the six-month stipulation for others.
In Scotland, a significant portion of the workforce, approximately one in three people receiving Universal Credit, are in employment. Universal Credit, a key qualifying benefit, opens doors to several other payments under the Social Security Scotland umbrella.
A notable aspect of this initiative is the inclusion of the Scottish Child Payment and the suite of benefits known as the five family payments. These encompass three Best Start Grants – the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment, and School Age Payment – alongside Best Start Foods.
Workers may also be eligible for the Adult Disability Payment, which is not contingent on employment or income status. Additional one-off payments like the Winter Heating Payment and Funeral Support Payment further extend the scope of support.
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville emphasized the importance of this outreach, particularly for young people embarking on new employment journeys in January. The Job Start Payment, she notes, can significantly alleviate the financial burden associated with starting a new job. The goal is to ensure that this benefit reaches as many eligible individuals as possible.
Social Security Scotland administers a total of 14 payments on behalf of the Scottish Government, including the Scottish Child Payment. However, certain benefits like Universal Credit remain under Westminster’s jurisdiction.
The Workers Union Says…
“This initiative reflects a comprehensive effort to enhance the well-being of working Scots, ensuring that financial support is accessible to those who need it most, particularly during the crucial transition phases of their careers.”