Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Financial support

Updated 23 September 2021

The following financial support is available for people and families on low incomes, who receive Council Tax Reduction or who have children entitled to free school meals - this does not include those entitled to universal provision of P1-4 meals:

  • Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment
  • free school meals payment for pupils who are self-isolating (not applicable during school holidays)
  • free school meals payments during school holidays
  • Family Pandemic Payment
  • Low Income Pandemic Payment

New Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments will be made for each school aged child who receives Free School Meals on the basis of low income in 2021 and 2022. These payments are funded by the Scottish Government.

Payments will be made quarterly around the start of the Easter, Summer, October and Winter holidays, with £520 paid in both 2021 and 2022.  Payments which you have received to date, including the £100 Spring Hardship Payment and the £100 Family Pandemic Payment (Summer 2021) are part of the total to be received for 2021. 

A full breakdown of future payments is detailed in the table below:

Payment Value Period of eligibility Date payment to be made
Autumn 2021 £160 23 September to end of term prior to October break Friday 8 October 2021
Winter 2021 (Family Pandemic Payment and uplift) £160 30 November to end of term prior to winter break Wednesday 22 December 2021
Spring 2022 £130 2 Feb to end of term prior to Easter break To be confirmed
Summer 2022 £130 30 May to end of term proper to summer break To be confirmed
Autumn 2022 £130 23 September to end of term prior to October break To be confirmed
Winter 2022 £130 30 November to end of term prior to winter break To be confirmed

The above payments are in addition to support delivered through the continuation of Free School Meals over the school holidays and the £130 Low Income Pandemic Payment.

Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal, the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £625 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,500) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will be made automatically to households where a child/young person is in receipt of Free School Meals on the basis of low income.  The payments can be used by families for any purpose as they see fit. There is no expectation that these payments are to be used for any specific purpose.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

Q. Who is eligible to receive a Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?

A. Any child or young person who attends primary or secondary school (including ASN schools) who is eligible for means tested free school meals, as their parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.  For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals page.

Q. Are all children in P1-P4 eligible for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?

A. No. Although, all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals page.

Q. Does the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment include pre-school aged children?

A. No, pre-school aged children are not eligible for this payment. The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6 – to find out more about this and to apply please visit the Scottish Child Payment page.

Q. Do I need to apply for the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?

A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

Q. When will I receive the £160 Autumn 2021 payment?

A. We aim to have payments issued by Friday 8 October 2021.

Q. Will I get a payment for each of my children?

A. Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

Q. Will this payment affect my claim for Universal Credit?

A. If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as Capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other Capital totalling over £6,000. If you are worried that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.

Q. Where can I find more information on the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment?

A. For more information on the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment, please visit the Scottish Government website.

Q. I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t.  Who should I contact?

A. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about the Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment use our enquiry form.

A one-off payment of £25 will be made to parents/carers towards the cost of lunch for pupils who are eligible for free school meals but can't attend school because they are self-isolating as part of the Test and Protect Scheme.

This excludes those entitled to the universal provision of P1-4 meals.

This will begin for any new cases of pupils self-isolating from Monday 16 August 2021 onwards. Payments will not be backdated.

Your child will have been advised to self-isolate because they have:

  • tested positive for COVID-19
  • been identified by NHS Test and Protect as a close contact

This does not cover short periods of isolation, where pupils are waiting for a test result because:

  • they are displaying symptoms
  • another household member is displaying symptoms

Pupils eligible for free school meals will not be paid the one-off payment for these short periods of absence, however, if the pupil or household member tests positive and the pupil needs to isolate for a longer period, the payment will be made.

Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £625 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,500) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The one-off payment of £25 will be paid within 6 working days after the 4th day of absence, provided you already receive free school meals. This means payment will be made towards the end of the self-isolation period.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances we may pay by PayPoint voucher.

Q. Who is eligible to receive a free school meal payment while they are self-isolating?
A. Any child or young person eligible for free school meals through means testing who attends primary or secondary school, (including ASN schools) and who needs to self-isolate, either because they have tested positive or they have been identified by NHS Test and Protect as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Note this is for new cases of pupils self-isolating from Monday 16 August 2021.

Q. Are all children in P1-4 eligible for this payment if self-isolating?
A. No. Although, all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page.

Q. Does this payment include nursery children?
A. No, nursery children are not legally entitled to free school meals. The current statutory entitlement is 600 hours per year and does not include providing food.  

Q. Do I need to apply for this payment?
A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year.  In exceptional circumstances we may pay by PayPoint voucher.

Q. When will I receive the payment?
A. We will aim to pay you within 6 working days after the 4th day of absence from school. This means payment will be made towards the end of the self-isolation period.

Q. Do I need to show the school evidence of the request to self-isolate to receive this payment?
A. You may be asked to give the school proof from NHS Test and Protect.

Q. Is there any other support available during this difficult time?
A. Yes, our Community Wellbeing line can give you help and support. You can phone them on 0303 123 1009 but information on other help available is on the How to get help page.

Q. I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?
A. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about free school meal payments while self-isolating use our enquiry form.

The Scottish Government has provided the council with funding for pupils who get free school meals (excluding those entitled to universal provision of P1-4 meals) for the following school holidays:

  • October break 2021
  • Christmas break 2021
  • February 2022 mid-term break
  • Spring break 2022

In line with the level of funding provided to us by the Scottish Government, the October holiday payment (covering 11 – 15 October 2021) will be made on Friday 8 October 2021.

Payment dates for future holiday periods will be confirmed nearer the time. 

Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal in school, in line with Scottish Government funding arrangements the payments referred to above will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £625 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,500) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque or PayPoint voucher.

Q. Who is eligible to receive a free school meal payment during the school summer holiday period?
A. Any household with a child or young person eligible for free school meals who get any of the benefits listed above. This includes primary, secondary and ASN schools. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page.

Q. Are all children in P1-P4 eligible for this payment?
A. No. Although all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal in school, in line with Scottish Government funding arrangements you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page.

Q. Does this payment include nursery children?
A. No, nursery aged children are currently not legally entitled to free school meals. The current statutory entitlement is 600 hours per year and does not include the provision of food. 

Q. When will I receive my payments?
A. We aim to have payments issued by Friday 8 October 2021. Payment dates for future holiday periods will be confirmed nearer the time. 

Q. Will I get a payment for each of my children?
A. Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

Q. Do I need to apply for this payment?
A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque or PayPoint voucher.

Q. How long do I have to cash-in my PayPoint voucher?
A. The voucher is valid for 1 month from the date of issue.

Q. How do I redeem my PayPoint voucher?
A. Your voucher can be redeemed for cash at any PayPoint outlet, of which there are more than 100 across South Lanarkshire. You can find your nearest PayPoint outlet by searching on the PayPoint website.

Q. Can I cash my PayPoint voucher online?
A. No. PayPoint payment vouchers can only be redeemed from a PayPoint outlet. You can find your nearest PayPoint outlet by searching on the PayPoint website.

Q. I believe I should have received payment and haven’t, who do I contact?
A. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about free school meals during school holidays use our enquiry form.

This is a one-off payment of £100 to help families of children entitled to free school meals (excluding those entitled to universal provision of P1-4 meals). The payment is funded by the Scottish Government and can be used for anything you want. 

The Family Pandemic Payment is being provided to any child or young person who goes to a South Lanarkshire Council school and whose parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and are eligible for a means tested free school meal. 

Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal, the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £625 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,500) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will automatically be paid by Friday 18 June 2021.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. 

In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

Q. Who is eligible to receive a Family Pandemic Payment?
A. Any child or young person eligible for free school meals through means testing, that is whose parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, who goes to primary or secondary school (including ASN schools). For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page.

Q. Are all children in P1-P4 eligible for the Family Pandemic Payment?
A. No. Although, all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page.

Q. Does the Family Pandemic Payment include pre-school aged children?
A. No, pre-school aged children are not eligible for this payment. The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6 – to find out more about this and to apply please visit Scottish Child Payment page.

Q. Do I need to apply for the Family Pandemic Payment?
A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

Q. When will I receive the payment?
A. We aim to have payments issued by Friday 18 June 2021.

Q. Will I get a payment for each of my children?
A. Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

Q. I heard that there will be two Family Pandemic Payments of £100 – when will I receive the other?
A. The Scottish Government has committed to providing two separate one-off payments of £100 for each school aged child entitled to means tested free school meals. The first payment is detailed above. The second payment will be made around the start of the winter school holidays. More details on the second payment will be provided nearer that time. 

Q. Will this payment affect my claim for Universal Credit?
A. If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as Capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other Capital totalling over £6,000. If you are worried that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.

Q. Where can I find more information on the Family Pandemic Payment?
A. For more information on the Family Pandemic Payment, please visit the Scottish Government website. 

Q. I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t.  Who should I contact?
A. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about the Family Pandemic Payment use our enquiry form.

As announced by the Scottish Government on 8 March 2021, households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will receive a one-off payment of £130 to help towards increased costs and lost income during the pandemic. You can use this money as you want and there is no expectation that the £130 payment be used for any specific purpose.   

Households with the following Council Tax exemptions are also eligible to receive payment:

  • all members of the household are under 18
  • all members of the household are care leavers
  • all members of the household are severely mentally impaired
  • the property is unoccupied because the resident has gone to someone else's home to provide care or the resident receives care elsewhere

Also, households with no liability for Council Tax due to living in temporary accommodation (including a refuge) will also be eligible to receive payment. 

Eligibility is based on being in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, or meeting the criteria for additional groups during April 2021. If a backdated claim for Council Tax Reduction is awarded for this period, then households will also be entitled to the payment. Please note that Single Person Discount on your Council Tax is not classed as Council Tax Reduction.

You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will automatically be paid on or around Friday 3 September 2021. Only one payment will be made to each household.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the various Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. We will send you a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if we do not already have them.

The deadline for providing bank details has now passed.  Anyone who has provided bank details after Monday 23 August will be paid by cheque along with customers who are due the payment but we do not hold their bank details.

We will not employ third parties to gather information on our behalf. If you have reason to believe that the person contacting you does not work for the council please contact us immediately. You should never give out your bank details to someone you do not trust.

Q. Who is eligible to receive a Low Income Pandemic Payment?
A. Any household in receipt of Council Tax Reduction – or who meet the criteria for the above mentioned additional groups – on any day between 1-30 April 2021.

Q. Do I need to apply for the Low Income Pandemic Payment?
A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account. We will send you a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if we do not already have them. In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.

Q. When will I receive the payment?
A. We aim to have payments issued on or around Friday 3 September 2021.

Q. Will I get a payment for each member of my household?
A. No. If you are eligible for payment, you will receive one single payment of £130 for your household.

Q. Will this payment affect my claim for Universal Credit?
A. If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as Capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other Capital totalling over £6,000. If you are worried that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.

Q. I believe I should be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. What can I do? 
A. If you are not already receiving Council Tax Reduction and believe you may be eligible you can find out more on our Council Tax - discount if you are on a low income (Council Tax Reduction) page.

Q. Where can I find more information on the Low Income Pandemic Payment?
A. For more information on the Low Income Pandemic Payment, please visit the Scottish Government website. 

Q. I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t.  Who should I contact?
A. You should use our enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about the Low Income Pandemic Payment, please use our enquiry form.

The free Money Talk Team service is also available to help ensure you receive all the support you are entitled to. Phone 0800 085 7145 or visit their website.