What is Job Start Payment?

Job Start Payment is a one off payment of £314.45 available to young people in Scotland who are on certain benefits, and need help with the costs of starting a new job. If you have a child, you could get £503.10.

Who can get Job Start Payment?

You must meet all of the criteria below to be eligible:

  • be 16 to 24 years old; or are a care leaver aged 16 to 25
  • live in Scotland on the day of the job offer
  • have a job offer for paid employment
  • the job must average 12 hours or more per week, over a 4 week period. It doesn't need to be a permanent job
  • be out of paid work and in receipt of one of the following benefits for 6 months or more, or if a care leaver out of paid work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit at the time of the job offer (care leavers do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit for 6 months):
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
    • Income Support
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Universal Credit (UC)

How long do I have to apply?

You have up to 3 months from getting a job offer to apply.

What evidence will be required?

A confirmation of the job offer. This can be a text message, a letter, or an email from the employer. Photocopies or screenshots of these are accepted and they can be uploaded online or provided by post.

What if I'm a care leaver?

Evidence of being a care leaver is only requested if you:

  • are 25 years old when you were offered the job
  • have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for fewer than 6 months
  • have been out of paid work for fewer than 6 months.

Who is a care leaver?

You are a care leaver if you've spent time in care but stopped being looked after on, or after your 16th birthday. This could have been either a foster, residential, secure or formal kinship care placement.

How long after applying will it take to get a payment?

A decision should be sent by letter within 21 working days of receiving your application form and evidence. If your application is successful, payment should follow a few days later.

How do I get the money?

The payment is paid directly into your chosen account.

Do I need to pay this back?


What can I use the money for?

It can be spent on anything for starting work like clothing, travel or lunches.

Will this affect other benefits?

Depending on circumstances, Job Start Payment or your new job may affect other benefits. You should get independent advice.

How often can I apply?

If you've had a payment, you will not be able to get another one until 2 years have passed.

How do I claim?

You can also download and print a paper copy from the website.

If English is not your first language, you can apply over the phone or ask for a paper form to be sent to you, in any of over 100 languages (0800 182 2222).