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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 £225 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.

Check eligibility and apply

Child Family Bridging Payments

The Scottish Government recently announced additional support available to children and young people of school age (P1 to S6) in receipt of free school meals on the basis of low income eligibility. Payments made by local authorities will continue to support the Family Pandemic Payment and the new Scottish Child Support (SCP) Bridging Payment.

Pandemic support payments during 2021 will total £520 and incorporates the spring and summer payments which have already been paid, a new additional payment in October and an increased winter payment in December.

SCP Bridging Payments during 2022 will total £520 and will be made quarterly in the spring, summer, autumn and winter in line with school holidays. Details can be found in the 2022 payments table below.

Payment will be made automatically by bank transfer for all eligible children and young people in receipt of free school meals. There is no separate application required for these payments but you must have registered for free school meals on the basis of low income.

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 Child Bridging Payments of £130 to £230, which is an additional payment of £100 per child. Families who already receive low-income Free School Meals and the Child Bridging 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 

The eligibility for the £100 payment is being extended to low-income families of children of pre-school age. Any families who have pre-school children with an older sibling at school who receives low-income Free School Meals will automatically receive the £100 payment. For families who do not have older siblings that receive low-income Free School Meals, you can apply for this payment by completing the application below:

Apply for Pre-School £100 Payment

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.

Eligibility

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.

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:

  • Autumn payment - registered on 23 September or subsequently register and are eligible for free school meals by the end of the school term at October break
  • 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 
Autumn 2022  £130 23 September to end of term at October break -14 October if registered by 23 September

-By end of October if registered after 23 September and before end of term 
Winter 2022 £130 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.