Single Parent FAQs: Bridging payments and Help for Christmas


Our advice and information team who work on our Lone Parent Helpline, webchat and Ask a Question feature, receive questions from single parents around Scotland every day.

Our new feature – Single Parent FAQs – on our newsletter and blog spotlights Frequently Asked Questions on a different topic each month.

This month, our advice team have been receiving a lot of calls from single parents regarding

  • Bridging payments related to the Scottish Child Payment.
  • Help for Christmas

Take a look at the FAQ's

Q. What is a Scottish Child Payment (SCP) Bridging payment?

The SCP is the Scottish Child Payment which is a payment that started on 15th of February this year for children under 6, it is a payment of £10 per week for children under 6 will be extended to children under 16 by the end of 2022 to qualify for this benefit you would need to be receiving one of these benefits below;

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

The Scottish Government have made funds available for families with children over 5 years old, who get free school meals because of household income they can get the SCP bridging payment. This includes families with children 16 and over.

Q. How much is the bridging payment and how do I apply?

If your child is receiving free school meals, then you do not need to do anything, you will get the money paid into your bank account. The SCP Bridging Payment is £160.

Q. I keep hearing about other parents who have been receiving extra payments for their children, can I apply for these payments, I work full time and have 2 children?

Unfortunately, you would not be able to apply for these payments, these payments are just for children in primary and secondary schools on free school meals.

Q. Lost my job last week, would I be entitled to free school meals?

If you are unemployed and on a low income you can apply to your local council for free school meals and then you would qualify for the next SCP bridging payment in December.

Q. I am worried about Christmas, do you know if there is anything like that payment we got in October for Christmas?

Local councils will be making payments of £160 in December as well as the money for lunches for each child receiving free school meals, no dates have been set yet keep looking on your local council’s website and social media and the information will be posted there with dates.

Q. Both my children get universal free school meals and yet I have not received any payments why is that?

SCP bridging payments are only paid to children who get free school meals due to low-income households.

Q. I am a single parent of 2 young children, and I work part time but do not earn a lot, is there anywhere I can get help towards Christmas, my cooker is about to break down so the money I had saved for Christmas is going to have to go towards the new cooker.

You can apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund through your local council for a new cooker and then you will not need to use your savings. More information and how to apply can be found on the Scottish Welfare Fund website.

Q. Do you know if there is any place that would give me some help with Christmas gifts?

If you have a support worker or teacher that you can speak to, they may be able to advise you on what is available in your area, most charity’s that are helping with Christmas are asking for someone to refer you so that could be your support worker, child’s teacher or anyone that supports you and knows your family circumstances.  

Q. I am worried about the increase in fuel prices, especially over the Christmas period, can I apply for help with fuel costs?

If you meet the criteria you can apply for a Warm Home Discount from your energy supplier which is £140 credited to your account by the 31st of March 2022.

More information can be found in warm home discount scheme blog  for more information and advice about fuel costs you can contact Home Energy Scotland

Q. I am looking for food and toys for Christmas. Do you know anywhere that can help?

Local churches, food banks, toy banks etc. may help, it useful to look in your local area and see what help is available locally, if you are unable to find anything you talk to us and see if we know of anything available in your area.

CTA Image