Click here or press Escape to leave this site

Covid-19

COVID-19: What financial support can I access?

financial support graphic

Sometimes, it can be really difficult to work out what kind of financial support you are eligible for. Below, we have pulled together some help and advice. If your situation is not covered in this guide, please let us know here and we will try our best to find out information for you.

Check out our 'What financial support can I access?' flow chart here.

I am registered as self-employed

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

This UK Government scheme will provide a taxable grant equivalent of 80% of your average monthly profit over the last 3 years, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. This scheme is open to anyone with trading profit up to £50,000 per year, who makes the majority of their income through self-employment, and who has a valid tax return for 2019. If you have not yet filed your tax return for 2019, you have an extra four weeks from 26/03/2020 to do this. The Government does not anticipate this scheme to be up and running before June 2020. You can read more about the scheme here

“New Style” Employment Support Allowance

If you have been self-employed and paid enough National Insurance contributionsin the last two complete tax years (2017/18 and 2018/19) you may be eligible for “New Style” Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is usually paid at the rate of £73.10/week. If you think you may be eligible you should claim as soon as possible as your award will date from the day you make your claim. You do not need to provide a fit note if you are claiming ESA due to COVID-19.

If you are not sure if you have paid or been credited with enough National Contributions, you can chat to a local Citizens Advice Scotland advisor over the phone here. You can claim ESA here.

Universal Credit

You can now access Universal Credit in full if you are self-employed, but you must have less than £16,000 in savings.

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to you (e.g. you have children, have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working, or you need help paying your rent).

At the moment, it may take roughly 5 weeks for you to receive your first UC payment. However, advance payments are sometimes available.

Find out more about what Universal Credit is, what you may be entitled to, and how to claim here

Scottish Welfare Fund

What help is available?

  • Crisis Grants – A Crisis Grant, accessed through your local council, may be given to cover the costs of an emergency (e.g. you’ve lost money). To get a Crisis Grant you need to be on a low income – this doesn’t mean you need to be on benefits. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income. If you do get a Crisis Grant, your local council will look at helping you with your most urgent living costs (e.g. food, heating costs).
  • Community Care Grants – A Community Care Grant, accessed through your local council, may be given to help with costs in various situations (e.g. you’re experiencing great pressure and need help to keep a settled home, a child’s health is at risk). You need to be on a low income to receive a Community Care Grant, but this doesn’t mean you need to be on benefits. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income. Note: If you have savings of over £700 you’ll be less likely to get a Community Care Grant

Apply here

---------------------------------

I’m not registered as self-employed, I don’t receive benefits, and I don’t have savings over £16k

Scottish Welfare Fund

What help is available?

  • Crisis Grants – A Crisis Grant, accessed through your local council, may be given to cover the costs of an emergency (e.g. you’ve lost money). To get a Crisis Grant you need to be on a low income – this doesn’t mean you need to be on benefits. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income. If you do get a Crisis Grant, your local council will look at helping you with your most urgent living costs (e.g. food, heating costs).
  • Community Care Grants – A Community Care Grant, accessed through your local council, may be given to help with costs in various situations (e.g. you’re experiencing great pressure and need help to keep a settled home, a child’s health is at risk). You need to be on a low income to receive a Community Care Grant, but this doesn’t mean you need to be on benefits. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income. Note: If you have savings of over £700 you’ll be less likely to get a Community Care Grant

Apply here

Universal Credit

What help is available?

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to you (e.g. you have children, have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working, or you need help paying your rent)

At the moment, it may take roughly 5 weeks for you to receive your first UC payment. However, advance payments are sometimes available.

Find out more about what Universal Credit is, what you may be entitled to, and how to claim here

---------------------------------

I’m not registered as self-employed, I don’t receive benefits, but I do have savings over £16k

You would not be eligible for Universal Credit or Scottish Welfare Fund support if you have over £16,000 in your current account.

If you have been employed and have paid enough National Insurance in the last two tax years

If you have been employed and paid enough National Insurance contributionsin the last two complete tax years (2017/18 and 2018/19) you may be eligible for “New Style” Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is usually paid at the rate of £73.10/week. If you think you may be eligible you should claim as soon as possible as your award will date from the day you make your claim. You do not need to provide a fit note if you are claiming ESA due to COVID-19.

If you are not sure if you have paid or been credited with enough National Contributions, you can chat to a local Citizens Advice Scotland advisor over the phone here. You can claim ESA here.

If you have not been employed and have not paid enough National Insurance in the last two tax years

If you have not been employed and have not paid enough National Insurance you will not be eligible for ESA. You may be eligible for a non-repayable grant from a local or national charity based on your personal circumstances. You can find more information on the Grants Search tool at Turn2Us

---------------------------------

I currently receive benefits

Additional means-tested benefits

If you are already receiving benefits, but your income level has changed, ensure you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to using an online benefits calculator.

Scottish Welfare Fund

  • Crisis Grants – A Crisis Grant, accessed through your local council, is a one-off payment which can be given to cover the costs of an emergency (e.g. you’ve lost money). To get a Crisis Grant you need to be on a low income. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income but being in receipt of benefits (e.g. Universal Credit) can mean that it’s more likely you’ll be able to get a Crisis Grant. If you do get a Crisis Grant, your local council will look at helping you with your most urgent living costs (e.g. food, heating costs).
  • Community Care Grants – A Community Care Grant, accessed through your local council, can be given to help with costs in various situations (e.g. you’re experiencing great pressure and need help to keep a settled home, a child’s health is at risk) You need to be on a low income to receive a Community Care Grant. There is no figure that will be used to judge whether you have a low income but being in receipt of benefits (e.g. Universal Credit) can mean that it’s more likely you’ll be able to get a Community Care Grant. Note: If you have savings of over £700 you’ll be less likely to get a Community Care Grant

Apply here

Non-repayable grants

You may be eligible for a non-repayable grant from a local or national charity based on your personal circumstances. You can find more information on the Grants Search tool at Turn2Us

---------------------------------

I have no recourse to public funds

There is currently significant lobbying for the UK Government to suspend “no recourse to public funds” status during the coronavirus outbreak. This situation is still developing and we will update you when we have more information. In the meantime, you may be able to access financial support from your local authority. You can find more information here

The Aberlour Urgent Assistance Fund can provide cash grants to help families with children (aged 21 or under) cope with the impact of the Coronavirus, usually between £150-£200. The fund is open to those with no recourse to public funds. You cannot apply to this fund by yourself, the application must be made by a sponsor. Please get in touch with CLiCK if you would like support to access this fund.

---------------------------------

I am a student in full-time education

If you receive SAAS or an SLC student loan, these payments have not been affected as a result of coronavirus. You can find out more here.

You are not usually eligible for Universal Credit if you are a full-time student, but there are some exceptions. You can find out more about claiming Universal Credit as a full-time student here

A £5 million package of emergency financial support is being put in place to help students in further and higher education who are facing hardship due to coronavirus. You can apply directly to the funding/support team at your university or college. Find out more here

---------------------------------

Emergency Funds

You may be able to access financial support via emergency funds set up by Umbrella Lane and SWARM.

The Aberlour Urgent Assistance Fund can provide cash grants to help families with children (aged 21 or under) cope with the impact of the Coronavirus, usually between £150-£200. The fund is open to those with no recourse to public funds. You cannot apply to this fund by yourself, the application must be made by a sponsor. Please get in touch with CLiCK if you would like support to access this fund.

Loading