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Grants and payments (COVID-19)

Self-isolation support grant

If you have symptoms and have a positive PCR test and will lose income because you are unable to work from home, help may be available through the Self-Isolation Support Grant.

Administered through the Scottish Welfare Fund, from 1 May 2022 a payment of £250 is available to workers who are in receipt of low income benefits, who earn less than the Real Living Wage threshold or whose household income is such that it falls within the agreed definition of ‘low income’ and will lose income due to either them, their child or someone they care for self-isolating.

These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 follow the stay-at-home guidance for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable.

Self-isolation payments are taxable. If you are employed, you will pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you are self-employed, you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return.

Grant update

The Self-Isolation Support Grant (SISG) will close on 5 January 2023. If you booked a PCR test through the SISG portal on or before this date, you can apply for the grant up to 28 days from your positive PCR test result.

If you’re eligible for the grant and were unable to apply within 28 days from your positive PCR test result, we may be able to consider your application. This is only if you were unable to apply within the 28 days because of something that you could not control.

Check eligibility and apply

Scottish Child Payment - Bridging Payment

The Scottish Child Payment - Bridging Payment which was administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by North Ayrshire Council, is ending. The last payment will be issued - 19 December if registered by 30 November or by end of January if registered after 30 November and before end of term and has been increased to £260 per eligible child. 

The Scottish Child Payment is a benefit administered by Social Security Scotland. It provides eligible families and carers with regular financial support to help towards the costs of supporting their family.

The benefit will be extended on 14 November to those responsible for eligible children under the age of 16 - and at that point also increased from £20 to £25. 

It is not possible to automatically transfer from the Scottish Child Bridging Payments to the Scottish Child Payment. From 14 November 2022, eligible families and carers must:

Apply for the Scottish Child Payment

Alternatively, you can apply by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.

Please note: you should apply as close to 14 November 2022 as possible as you will be eligible from the date of your application. 

Additional £100 cost of living payment

To help address the current cost of living pressures and to also recognise the needs of families of pre-school age, North Ayrshire Council have agreed to increase the scheduled Scottish Child Payment of £260 to £360, which is an additional payment of £100 per child. Families who already receive low-income Free School Meals and the Scottish Child Payment do not need to do anything and their payment will be made along with their normal bridging payment. If you feel you are eligible and have not yet applied for low-income Free school Meals for the 22/23 school year, you can do so below: 

Apply for Free School Meals 

During the application process you will be asked to provide evidence of your eligibility, so please have this to hand before you apply. Eligibility for low-income Free School Meals is detailed below.


All children and young people who receive free school meals on the basis of low income or on local authority discretion to promote wellbeing are eligible.

A child or young person is eligible to receive free school meals based on low income where the household is in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Universal Credit (where monthly earned income is not more than £625)
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an annual income of less than £16,105
  • both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an annual income of up to £7,500
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

A child or young person may qualify for free school meals at local authority discretion if their household experiences financial hardship. This could be because:

  • their immigration status means they have no recourse to public funds
  • they are still waiting on their first Universal Credit award notice

Children and young people receiving free school meals based on universal provision (P1-P3, extending to P4 from August 2021 and P5 from January 2022) are not eligible. Children receiving free lunches in Early Learning and Childcare settings are not eligible.

If your child currently receives free school meals based on universal provision (P1-4/5) but you think you are eligible on the basis of low income, you should make an application for the school clothing grant and free school meals to ensure you receive the additional support payments.


To qualify, children and young people need to be registered for free school meals on the basis of low income on the following dates in 2022:

  • Winter payment - registered on 30 November, or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at Winter break

You will receive only the payments due from the date your child becomes eligible. Payment will not be backdated so ensure you submit an application as soon as possible to receive all payments you are entitled to.

2022 payments
Payment Value Eligibility periodPayment date 
Winter 2022 £260 30 November to end of term at Winter break -19 December if registered by 30 November

-By end of January if registered after 30 November and before end of term

More information on free school meals is available.

If you have not previously applied for a Clothing Grant and Free School Meals but feel you may be eligible you should apply now.

If you qualify you could be entitled to a school clothing grant for each child attending school. If you are awarded free school meals you will also be entitled to the additional support payments as detailed.

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