Applications and Awards for Best Start Grant (BSG) Pregnancy and Baby Payment
|Best Start Grant Indicator|
|First And Subsequent Births|
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Applications and Awards for Best Start Grant (BSG) Pregnancy and Baby Payment. Statistics are provided for the last day of the month (e.g. figures for 2019-02 are for applications received or authorised, and payments made, as of 28 February 2019). ‘Ratio’ figures for applications authorised show the percentage of applications processed by the end of the month that had been authorised (not the percentage of applications received that had been authorised).
Figures have been rounded to the nearest five for disclosure control.
Some values are missing from this dataset. These values have been suppressed where they would disclose fewer than five applications or payments.
The data used to produce these statistics are extracted from the Social Security case management system. Extracts from this system are also used on a daily basis for internal reporting within Social Security Scotland. As such, the data is checked daily for consistency with previous extracts (i.e. do applications, decisions and payments figures increase as expected over time, and are they in proportion to each other) and compared to other sources of information such as the number of payment instructions reported by the finance team.
Quality assurance and cleaning has been carried out on the variables used in the official statistics:
• Checking application dates and processing times are within the expected ranges
• Checking applicant and child dates of birth are within the expected ranges
• Checking postcodes that do not match to local authorities
• Checking payment values match to expected number of children
Once the data is aggregated and copied into the publication and supporting Excel tables, the final statistics are quality assured by a different member of the statistics team.
1) Rounding and disclosure control
Application figures have been rounded to the nearest five for disclosure control.
2) Missing and duplicate applications
The data comes from a 100% data cut of the case management system.
The data cut contains a small number of applications where the fields relating to application date and the outcome and payment of the application were blank. These applications represent temporary ‘prospect cases’, which are created when clients contact Social Security Scotland without a National Insurance number, and are later replaced once a National Insurance number is received from the applicant. These applications are therefore duplicates have been excluded from the statistics.
The data cut also contains applications that appear to be a second or third applications from clients who have already made a first application during that period. These may be repeat applications submitted by clients (e.g. if they made their first application too early to be eligible and subsequently re-applied), and they may also include cases where the client’s details have been registered on the system multiple times by client advisors in error. These applications have been retained.
3) Delay between application authorised and payment
Payments are issued from the case management system on the same day that applications are authorised, and clients should receive money in their nominated account four working days after payment is issued. Therefore, to estimate the value of payments made by a specific date (e.g. 28 February) we have included all payments that had been authorised by 24 February 2019.
3) Age and gender
For a small number of cases, in the data cut taken from the case management system the date of birth of the child or the application date has been entered in the parent date of birth field. In these cases the date of birth of the parent has been changed to ‘unknown’. Further dates of birth of the parent showed very young ages. For these applicants, we have assumed that the dates contained typographical errors and have classed age as ‘unknown’, although we cannot be certain that their date of birth contained an error.
Applications are assigned to local authority and health board by postcode using a Scottish Government lookup file. For some applications, the postcode will not match to the lookup file. This can be because the postcode is not in a Scottish local authority, or because the postcode has been introduced too recently to appear on the lookup file, for example if a property is in a new development. For postcodes that could not be matched to a Scottish local authority or health board, the postcode area was used to check whether the postcode was in Scotland or elsewhere. Non-matching postcodes from Scottish border postcode areas (postcodes starting ‘DG’ and ‘TD’) were also checked individually and assigned to Scottish local authorities or health boards or as ‘non-Scottish postcodes’ manually.
Following these checks on postcodes, a small proportion of applications were made by people with Scottish postcodes that could not be matched to local authority or health board. A small proportion did not include address information and therefore could not be matched to local authority, health board or country.
Statistics are provided by local authority, health board, and Scotland level. It is not possible to provide the figures broken down for unknown Scottish local authority and health board, or non-Scottish health boards on this site. These applications have been included in the total figures for ‘Scotland’. Therefore, the figures for local authorities and health boards do not add up to the Scotland level figures. Figures for the applications that did not match to Scottish local authorities and health boards are provided in the official statistics publication tables at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/SocialSecurityforScotland
5) First and subsequent births
A birth is a ‘first birth’ if there are no other children under 16 in the household who the applicant is responsible for. This means that there are no other children for whom the applicant is receiving responsibility benefits (Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit (child element) or Pension Credit (child addition)). There are some exceptions to this where the parent is under 16, because they may have a brother or sister in the house who is under 16. 'Subsequent' births are births of either one or multiple children to an applicant who already has dependent children.
When the first birth in a household is a multiple birth (e.g. twins), for the purposes of calculating payment values the first baby to be born (e.g. the first of two twins) would be the ‘first birth’ and any other babies (e.g. the second of two twins) would be ‘subsequent births’. However, for the purpose of these statistics, we have counted first births of multiple babies as one ‘first birth’. Similarly, multiple births to a household that already includes children under 16 would be counted as one ‘subsequent birth’.
Awards have been classed as ‘first births’ or ‘subsequent births’ based primarily on the value of the payment made. For payment values of £900 or more the number of expected children in the birth has also been used.
Currently it is only possible to provide information about first and subsequent births where the application was approved and paid. This is because information on first and subsequent births is derived from payment amounts. As a result, whether an application was for a first or subsequent birth is unknown where the application was denied, withdrawn, is currently pending a decision, or where a payment has not yet been made.
DWP publish information about Sure Start Maternity Grant in the Social Fund annual report 2017 to 2018 at Great Britain level only: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018.
DWP also publishes annual expenditure for Sure Start Maternity Grants at Great Britain level in their Benefit expenditure and caseload tables: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-expenditure-tables.
Information about Sure Start Maternity Grants in Scotland in 2017/18 was also published as part of correspondence between DWP and Scottish Fiscal Commission: http://www.fiscalcommission.scot/about-us/correspondence/correspondence-response-from-dwp-on-social-fund-figures-for-scotland-4-september-2018/
Key differences between any figures for Sure Start Maternity Grant and BSG Pregnancy and Baby Payment are:
• Applicants can only apply for Sure Start Maternity Grant for their first child. No payments are made for subsequent children (with some exceptions for multiple births) whereas BSG Pregnancy and Baby Payments is applicable for first children and subsequent children.
• Sure Start Maternity Grant payments are £500 for the first child, whereas BSG Pregnancy and Baby Payments are £600 for the first child, £300 for subsequent children and £300 for multiple births.
• The Sure Start Maternity Grant application window is from 11 weeks before due date to 6 months after birth, whereas BSG Pregnancy and Baby is from 24th week of pregnancy to 6 months after birth.
Additionally, in 2018/19 it is possible that some applicants delayed applying for Sure Start Maternity Grant because they were aware that they could wait for the launch of BSG Pregnancy and Baby Payments on 10 December. This would affect numbers of people applying for both Sure Start Maternity Grant and BSG Pregnancy and Baby Payments in Scotland.
Revisions and corrections to previously published statistics are dealt with in accordance with the Scottish Government Statistician Group corporate policy statement on revisions and corrections - a copy of which is available on the Scottish Government website.
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Best Start Grant Indicator
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First And Subsequent Births
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