Best Start Foods
Social Security Scotland introduced Best Start Foods which replaced the UK Healthy Start vouchers in Scotland in August 2019.
Best Starts Foods is part of the family of five payments that are offered by Social Security Scotland along with Scottish Child Payment. The other payments include: Best Start Grant, which comprises three one-off payments:
Find out if you can claim Best Start Foods by meeting the criteria set out by Social Security Scotland.
What is the Best Start Foods Grant?
Best Start Foods is a separate payment from the other Best Start grants as it is a prepaid card designed to help parents buy healthy food for their children such as milk or fruit.
The prepaid card can be used both in shops and online.
General Criteria for Qualifying for the Best Start Food Grant
When it comes to qualifying for the Best Food Grant criteria you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You have a child under the age of three
- You are pregnant
- You or your partner are receiving certain benefits or tax credits
The amount of money that you will receive on your prepaid card will depend on a few factors such as how old your child is or how far along in your pregnancy you are.
It is important to note that you cannot claim Best Start Foods if you only receive Child Benefit.
How Much is the Best Starts Food Grant Payment Rates?
The Best Start Foods Grant is paid per pregnancy every four weeks and is a payment of £18.
Once your child is born up until they turn one you will receive £36 which is paid every four weeks.
If you have a child who is between the age of one and three years old, you will receive a payment of £18.
The specific rate that you are entitled to will be added to your Best Starts food card each month once your application is approved by Social Security Scotland.
If you experience losing your Best Starts Food card or want to arrange for a new card, the financial institution allpay look after this aspect of the Best Starts Foods card.
How do I Apply for Best Starts Foods?
If you are looking to apply for Best Start Grant you can apply for any of the grants by either filling out the form online, over the phone or via the post.
It is the same form that you would use to apply for any of the Best Start Grants.
To be eligible to apply online you will need to have a permanent address, be over the age of 18, have a bank account and apply for your own application.
If you want to apply via phone, you can call Social Security Scotland for free on: 0800 182 2222.
When applying you should have the following information readily available so that you can complete the application:
- Your name, date of birth and address
- National Insurance Number
- Bank, Credit Union, or Building Society Account Details
- If you have a partner, their name and date of birth
- Details of any children you have or care for
If you have been asked to send any documents to Social Security Scotland, you can do this by either uploading documents online or sending them in the post. You can request a pre-paid envelope by calling Social Security Scotland on: 0800 182 2222.
Can I Receive Best Starts Foods if I have no access to Public Funds?
You may still be able to get Best Starts Foods even if you do not have access to public funds. However, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- You are responsible for at least one child under three who is a British Citizen
- Your combined family income is £660 or less each month after tax has been deducted
- You are not able to claim public funds due to your immigration status
When informing Social Security Scotland on your immigration status you may be asked to supply some supporting information on your immigration status, child’s citizenship and your family income. To find out more information visit: mygov.scot website.
When will I know if my application has been successful?
After you apply for the Best Start Food Grant if you have requested an email or text message Social Security Scotland will get in touch with you via your chosen method once they have received your form.
Social Security Scotland will send you a letter to inform you if your application has been successful within 30 days of receiving your application. You can expect to receive one letter for Best Start Foods and another for the Best Start Grant if you apply for this grant.
If my application is successful, when will I receive my Best Start Foods card?
If Social Security Scotland have decided to award you with Best Start Foods, then you will be sent a Best Start Foods letter to inform you of this decision.
You will receive your Best Starts Foods card within six weeks of receiving your award letter.
- Adult Disability Payment
- Best Start Foods
- Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment
- Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Early Years Payment
- Best Start Grant School Age Payment
- Carer's Allowance Suppliment
- Child Disability Payment
- Child Winter Heating Assistance
- Funeral Support Payment
- Job Start Payment
- Scottish Child Payment
- Young Carer Grant