Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Financial support

Updated 20 January 2022

The following financial support is available for people and families on low incomes 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

For more information on the financial support available and details on how this will be paid, please access the relevant section using the buttons below.

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) and the £160 Autumn 2021 payment 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
Winter 2021 (Family Pandemic Payment and uplift) £160 30 November to end of term prior to winter break Friday 17 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 Winter 2021 payment?
A. We aim to have payments issued by Friday 17 December 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 P1-5 meals) for the following school holidays:

  • February 2022 mid-term break
  • Spring break 2022

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

Although all P1-5 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-P5 eligible for this payment?
A. No. Although all P1 to P5 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. 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.