Families in Falkirk district will start receiving a welcome financial boost in the coming weeks after the Scottish Child Payment opened today (Monday, February 15).

The new Scottish Government benefit, which is unique to Scotland, will give eligible parents and carers £40 every four weeks for each child under six and has been described as “game-changing” by anti-poverty campaigners.

The first payments are due to start at the end of the month and will be calculated from February 15 for those who applied in advance.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson welcomed the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment and urged eligible constituents who haven’t yet applied to do so as soon as possible.

He said: “The Scottish Child Payment will make a difference to the lives of thousands of children in Falkirk district and across Scotland, with estimates showing that it will help lift about 30,000 children out of poverty.

“Along with the Best Start Grant and other benefits launched by Social Security Scotland, this payment forms part of a welfare system that works for the people of Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is rolling out this new benefit at a time when the UK Government is planning to scrap the £20 Universal Credit uplift, demonstrating once again the contrasting approaches the SNP and the Tories have to supporting the most vulnerable members of our society.”

More than 77,000 applications have been received for the Scottish Child Payment so far. Applicants will receive a letter to tell them if they were successful and when they can expect their first payment. Those who apply after today, will only receive the payment from their application date.

Mr Matheson added: “I wouldn’t want to see any eligible families in Falkirk district miss out on any cash, so I’m urging any parents or carers who haven’t applied yet to do so today.”

For more information, and to apply, go to mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment