Job Start Payment

The Job Start Payment is a new benefit to help with the costs of starting a new job.

If you are aged 16 – 24 or 25 for care leavers and have been offered a job on or after 17 August 2020 and meet the eligibility criteria you may be entitled to a one off payment of £250 or the higher rate payment of £400 if you are the main carer of any children.

To Be Eligible for the Job Start Payment you must:

  • Have been aged 16 to 24 when you were offered the job.  Or aged 16 to 25 if you are a care leaver.
  • Have been out of paid work for 6 months or more when you were offered the job.
  • Have been getting one of these benefits for 6 months or more when you were offered the job:
    • Jobseekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Universal Credit

    You must be getting either income-based Jobseekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance on the date of your job offer.  However if you were receiving contributions based Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance you can still apply, as long as you were on these benefits for at least 6 months.

  • Have been offered the job in the last 3 months.
    • Job Start Payment is a new benefit. You must have been offered a job on or after 17 August 2020 to be eligible. Social Security Scotland will not be able to pay you Job Start Payment if you were offered your job before this.
    • You need to have been offered a job and expect to work at least 12 hours a week, averaged over a 4-week period. You can apply for Job Start Payment up to 3 months after the date you were offered your job.
    • You'll also need to send Social Security Scotland confirmation of your job offer. This can be a letter, an email or a text message from your new employer. If you're self-employed, you can send evidence of an offer of work or a contract. They accept photocopies or screenshots of these and they can be uploaded online or posted.
  • Have been living in Scotland on the day you were offered the job.
  • Not have been paid the Job Start Payment in the last 2 years.

How to Apply

To apply online visit To apply by phone, call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222. Lines are open 9am to 3pm, Monday to Fri.

Apply online now

To complete the online application the following evidence is required:

  • your name, date of birth and address
  • your National Insurance number (if you know it)
  • your bank, credit union or building society account details
  • details of your job offer, along with contact details for your employer or proof of the job offer

Your payment

If your application is successful you'll get £250, or a higher payment of £400 if you're the main carer of any children. This will come in one payment and you do not need to pay this money back.

What you can spend the payment on

The payment is intended to help with the costs of starting a new job.

It's up to you what you spend the money on and we do not need to see any receipts. You could use it for things like:

  • travel costs, such as a bus or train pass
  • lunches
  • new clothes or a uniform
  • childcare

The money is provided in one payment so you can spend it on things that might cost more, like a travel pass, if you need to.

If you need advice on budgeting, visit Citizens Advice Scotland.

How you'll be paid

Your payment can be sent direct to your bank or to someone else's. You'll need the bank account details.

If you want to be paid into someone else's account, you need to check they're happy with this before you put their details in this part of the form. You should also be sure you'll be able to access the money.

If you do not have a bank account, you can get Job Start Payment paid in the same way you are for other benefits. If you want to be paid into this you should apply either over the phone or by using the paper form.

Further information is available on the Social Security Scotland website or website.