Children's Handbook Scotland
Children’s Handbook Scotland
Non-means-tested benefit rates 2019/20
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Attendance allowance
Higher rate 87.65
Lower rate 58.70
Carer's allowance 66.15
Child benefit
Only/eldest child 20.70
Other child(ren) 13.70
Disability living allowance
Care component
Highest 87.65
Middle 58.70
Lowest 23.20
Mobility component
Higher 61.20
Lower 23.20
Employment and support allowance (contributory)  
Assessment phase 
Basic allowance (under 25) 57.90

Basic allowance (25 or over)

Main phase
Basic allowance (16 or over) 73.10
Work-related activity  component 29.05
Support component 38.55
Guardian's allowance 17.60
Jobseeker's allowance (contribution-based)
Under 25 57.90
25 or over 73.10
Personal independence payment   
Daily living component    
Standard rate   58.70
Enhanced rate   87.65
Mobility component    
Standard rate   23.20
Enhanced rate  61.20
Statutory adoption pay (standard rate) 148.68
Statutory paternity pay (maximum) 148.68
Statutory shared parental pay (maximum) 148.68


Tax credit rates 2019/20
Child tax credit  £ per day £ per year
Family element 1.49 545
Child element 7.60 2,780
Disabled child element 9.17 3,355
Severely disabled child element



Working tax credit  
Basic element 5.36 1,960
Couple element 5.50 2,010
Lone parent element 5.50 2,010
30-hour element 2.22 810
Disabled worker element 8.65 3,165
Severe disability element 3.73 1,365
Childcare element  
70% eligible childcare costs to a weekly maximum of:  
One child   70% of 175
Two or more children   70% of 300
Income thresholds  
Working tax credit only or with child tax credit   6,420
Child tax credit only   16,105


Chapter 1: Benefits and tax credits

This chapter covers:

1. Introduction (below)

2. Attendance allowance (Cross reference)

3. Best Start grant (Cross reference)

4. Carer's allowance (Cross reference)

5. Child benefit (Cross reference)

6. Council tax reduction (Cross reference)

7. Disability living allowance (Cross reference)

8. Employment and support allowance (Cross reference)

9. Funeral support payment (Cross reference)

10. Guardian's allowance (Cross reference)

11. Health benefits (Cross reference)

12. Housing benefit (Cross reference)

13. Income support (Cross reference)

14. Jobseeker's allowance (Cross reference)

15. Pension credit (Cross reference)

16. Personal independence payment (Cross reference)

17. The Scottish Welfare Fund (Cross reference)

18. Statutory adoption pay (Cross reference)

19. Tax credits (Cross reference)

20. Universal credit (Cross reference)

1. Introduction

This chapter gives an outline of the basic conditions of entitlement for the main benefits and tax credits which may be relevant to the situations covered in this Handbook. Other chapters look at how benefits and tax credits are affected when a child comes to live with you, goes to live elsewhere or leaves local authority care.

To check your entitlement, first use the chapter covering the circumstances that apply to you. This explains the specific rules that apply to benefits and tax credits in your circumstances. Then use this chapter for an outline of the general conditions of entitlement that apply to everyone. If you need more details, see CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits HandbookChapter 2 explains how to claim benefits and tax credits, how to challenge a decision if you disagree with it and how to make a complaint.

Future changes

The rules for some benefits are changing in Scotland as certain benefits are devolved to the Scottish parliament. For example, the Best Start grant and carer's allowance supplement have already been introduced and disability benefits (such as personal independence payment and disability living allowance) and carer's allowance will start to be changed from summer 2020.

Benefit cap

There is a 'cap' on the total amount of benefits and tax credits you can receive, although some claimants are exempt. If the total amount of your benefit is capped, the cap is applied by either reducing the amount of your universal credit (UC) or by reducing the amount of your housing benefit (HB). The cap does not apply to you if you have reached pension age (see Cross reference)  and there are a number of other situations in which it does not apply – eg, if you or someone in your household gets a disability benefit, or if you or your partner get carer's allowance or guardian's allowance.

If you are getting UC, the cap is set at £1,116.67 (£1,284.17 if in Greater London) a month for single people with no children and £1,666.67 (£1,916.67 if in Greater London) a month for couples and lone parents.

If you are getting HB, the cap is set at £257.69 (£296.35 if in Greater London) a week for single people with no dependent children and £384.62 (£442.31 if in Greater London) a week for couples and lone parents.

2. Attendance allowance

Attendance allowance (AA) is a benefit for people who have reached pension age and who have care needs because of a disability. AA is not means tested and you do not have to have paid any national insurance contributions to get it.

The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the administration of AA.

Who can claim attendance allowance

You qualify for AA if you:Footnote

have reached pension age when you first claim. People aged between 16 and pension age may be able to claim personal independence payment (see Cross reference) and children aged under 16 may be able to claim disability living allowance (DLA) (see Cross reference); and

satisfy certain UK residence and presence conditions and are not a 'person subject to immigration control'. See CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details; and

satisfy the disability test (see Cross reference); and

have satisfied the disability test for the last six months (unless you are terminally ill).

Disability test

You get either a lower or a higher rate of AA. The disability conditions for the lower rate are the same as for the middle rate care component of DLA (see Cross reference). The conditions for the higher rate are the same as for the highest rate care component of DLA (see Cross reference).

Amount of benefit

Weekly rate

Lower rate 58.70
Higher rate 87.65

3. Best Start grant

The Best Start grant is made up of three different payments:

the pregnancy and baby payment of £600 or £300;

the early learning payment of £250;

the school-age payment of £250.

You must usually reside in Scotland to get the Best Start grant and satisfy some other residence conditions (see CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for more details).

The Best Start grant is adminstered by Social Security Scotland.

Pregnancy and baby payment
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