Scottish Child Payment Amendment Regulations 2021: scrutiny report

Scottish Commission on Social Security scrutiny report on the draft Scottish Child Payment Amendment Regulations 2021 with recommendations for the Scottish Government.


Annex A – Scottish Government briefing on determination without application for additional children joining an existing claim

  • The Scottish Child Payment regulations are drafted on the basis that a determination relates to the client’s entitlement to assistance in respect of a single child.
  • A client can have any number of children on a claim – in circumstances where an award ends/changes for one child that does not necessitate a determination of entitlement for the other children.
  • In the case of an additional children joining an existing claim, this will be done through a determination without application.
  • Legislative provision for this is set out at Part one of the Schedule, paragraph 5 –Multiple determinations involving the same child.
  • Under the Regulations as currently drafted, a determination without application is made for an additional child with a payment due 4 weeks after the application date (or the date on which the application is treated as made) and on a recurring four-weekly cycle thereafter.
  • As part of the process for of ensuring operational readiness, we have reviewed how the system processes the date of payment for additional children that join an existing claim. We have concluded that we need to make an amendment to the Regulations to reflect the fact that the existing system makes payments to a client for all children in their household on the same date every four weeks.
  • As such the amending Regulations make a provision that for additional children joining an existing claim the payment date will be aligned with existing dates. This approach is in line with existing approach for Best Start Foods and supports findings from user research where client valued simplicity and clarity in terms of payment dates.
  • When an existing Scottish Child Payment client becomes responsible for an additional child they will be able to contact Social Security Scotland and have the additional child added to their claim without the need to complete a full new application. This is a simpler and faster client journey.
  • The client will receive payment for the additional child on their next Scottish Child Payment payday. Depending on which week the additional child was added to the claim the client could receive either one, two, three or four weeks payment for the additional child on their next payday. On the following payday they will receive four weeks payment for all eligible children. The majority of Scottish Child Payment clients will receive payment for additional children more quickly by aligning to the existing payday.
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