Starting from 26th February 2024, there have been significant changes to the Best Start Foods program in Scotland. Here are the key updates:

  1. Eligibility Expansion
    • More people are now eligible for Best Start Foods.
    • If you’re 18 or over, you can qualify if:
      • You live in Scotland.
      • You or your partner are pregnant or are the primary caregiver for a child under 3.
      • You or your partner receive any of the following benefits:
        • Universal Credit
        • Child Tax Credit
        • Working Tax Credit
        • Housing Benefit
        • Income Support
        • Pension Credit
        • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
        • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • There are no extra income checks for these benefits.
    • If you don’t receive any of the listed benefits, you may still qualify under certain circumstances.
    • If you’re under 18, you can get Best Start Foods without needing the listed benefits. It applies if you or your partner are pregnant or have a child under 3.
    • If you’re 18 or 19, your parent or carer’s receipt of specific benefits (such as Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, or Universal Credit) can make you eligible.
    • If you look after someone under 20 who is pregnant or has a child under 3, you can apply on their behalf, provided you or your partner receive the relevant benefits for them.
  2. Income Threshold Removal:
    • Previously, there were income limits for qualifying benefits. However, these limits have been removed.
    • Working Tax Credit now qualifies without requiring Child Tax Credits.
  3. Application Process:
    • You can apply for both Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods using a single application form.
    • If you already meet the updated conditions, don’t wait—apply now.
    • Existing Best Start Foods payments will continue without changes.