Home   Education and learning   Grants and allowances   Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

EMA is a weekly allowance of £30, paid directly to young people.

It provides financial assistance to help young people from low-income households to stay on at school and continue their education.

Can I get EMA?

EMAs are available to young people between 16 and 19 years of age.

The assessment is based on:

  • gross taxable household income
  • the number of dependent children living within the household
Allowance details
IncomeNumber of dependent children in householdAward
£0 to £24,421 1 £30
£0 to £26,884 2+ £30

'Dependent children' are young people:

  • up to the age of 16
  • between the ages of 16 and 25 who are in further or higher education

Apply for EMA

You must make a new application for every academic year.

You can apply for a 2023/2024 EMA if you:

  • were born between 1 March 2004 and 29 February 2008
  • are a resident in the UK and have been for the past three years (some exceptions may apply)
  • live in a household with annual gross taxable income as above

We have launched MyNAC, which is our new customer account. This uses the national MyAccount to create your account and to sign in. You can use this account to automatically fill in your details on forms, view your history of service requests and view the status on current requests. 

You will need to create a MyNAC account to submit your Education Maintenance Allowance application. To create a MyNAC account you need to have a MyAccount. If you already have a MyAccount that you created to access another service like National Entitlement Card you can sign in with that and then opt into the MyNAC account. 

If you do not have a MyAccount you can select ‘Create an account’ when you select “Apply for EMA” or on the MyNAC sign in page. To create a MyAccount you need to provide your name, gender, date of birth, email address and home address. You can also optionally provide your telephone number. These details are then passed to the Council when you consent to create your MyNAC account. 

Apply for EMA

Learning agreement

Part of your application is a Learning Agreement that will be verified, as acceptable, by your school.

You must meet the conditions of your agreement to receive an EMA, for example:

  • attend school or college for a minimum of 21 guided learning hours per week
  • 100% attendance (exceptions for sickness absence)

Your payment can be withheld without warning if you:

  • are persistently late
  • don't follow your school's discipline policy
  • don't progress in your studies


Please note:

  • you can self certify for up to five days (10 half days) sickness absence during an academic session
  • absences of five days, or more, must be covered by a doctor's medical certificate for your EMA payment to be made
  • if you're absent for a period of more than three weeks because of illness your allowance will be reviewed

You will need

  • proof of your household income for the financial year 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023
  • your full birth certificate
  • your and your parent/carer's contact details, including email address
  • your bank or building society account details for payment (please note that the account must be in the name of the young person applying for EMA unless the young person has additional support needs which make this impractical)
  • subject/course details for academic year 2023/24
Supporting documents

It is our preference that supporting documents are uploaded when you are applying for EMA as this will ensure that your application is processed timeously.

Scanned or digitally photographed supporting documents can be uploaded as a:

  • pdf
  • jpeg
  • png

Please use portrait format and make sure all the text can be clearly read. Documents of more than one page should be scanned as one file (e.g. Universal Credit Statements).


EMA payments

EMA payments will only be made once we have assessed your eligibility and your school has confirmed an acceptable Learning Agreement is in place.

Payments are made fortnightly, in arrears, directly into the applicant's (young person's) bank account. EMA is only paid in term time. EMA payment dates (PDF, 153kb).

Amendments to Bank/Bank Building Society Account Details

Where there is a change of bank/building society account, following submission of an EMA application form, please complete our EMA bank details amendment form.

Please note: you will require the case reference number provided when you made your original application.  

College/university students

Contact your higher/further education institution for an application for financial assistance.

Further information

Please see EMA information from the Scottish Government.

Contact Education Maintenance Allowance



Please note that our EMA team are agile working. Please communicate with us by email which will enable us to deal with your correspondence promptly. We thank you for your cooperation.

Our EMA inbox is monitored Monday to Thursday 9am to 4.45pm, Friday 9am to 4:30pm.

Is this page useful?