Bridging Payment Doubled for December

First Minister announces doubling of December Bridging Payment to £260.

Families of an estimated 145,000 children will benefit from extra support this winter to help with cost of living pressures – backed by Scottish Government investment of £18.9 million.

Bridging Payments were introduced in 2021 ahead of the extension of the Scottish Child Payment to 6-15 year olds. The final quarterly Bridging Payment, due in December, will now be doubled to £260, meaning families will receive up to £650 per eligible child this year.

All children registered to receive free school meals on the basis of family low income are eligible and will receive this payment automatically.

Total Scottish Government funding for the Bridging Payments will increase to an estimated £169 million across 2021 and 2022.

This is in addition to the Scottish Child Payment which will be extended to all eligible under-16s from 14 November and will rise to £25 per child per week on the same date – a 150% increase in the benefit within eight months.


If your child gets free school meals because you're on a low income and get a qualifying benefit you do not need to apply for it. Your local council will make the payment to you automatically.

You have to apply for free school meals to get the payment if you meet the eligibility criteria for them and:

  • you have never applied before or had help with school meals during the school holidays
  • your child gets universal free school meals in primary 1 to 5

Contact the local council to apply for school meals and get the payment. 

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