Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson is urging any eligible families in the area who have not yet applied for the new Scottish Child Payment to do so as soon as possible to ensure that they don’t miss out on any cash. 

The new Scotland-only benefit will give families on tax credits or certain benefits an extra £40 every four weeks for each child under six. 

Social Security Scotland has received 56,000 applications since the process opened in November. 

Mr Matheson said: “The Scottish Child Payment has been described as ‘game-changing’ by anti-poverty campaigners and is a great example of how the Scottish Government is using its limited welfare powers to improve people’s lives. 

“I’m delighted to see that so many families have signed up early, which will ensure that their children will start to benefit as soon as this new payment begins next month. 

“Estimates show up to 194,000 children, including about 5,700 in the Falkirk Council area, could benefit from this additional support in the coming financial year, so I’m urging parents who haven’t yet applied to spare the 10 to 20 minutes it takes to fill in the application form online. 

“This extra cash will make a real difference to the lives of children in Falkirk district at a time when more and more families are facing financial pressures.” 

Applications can be made online at mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment or by calling 0800 182 2222 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. 

For people who apply before February 15, their payment will be calculated from that date. Those who apply afterwards will only receive the payment from their application date. 

The benefit will also be rolled out to children under 16 next year.