A child looking out a window

Child support in Scotland: COVID Winter Hardship

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused Scotland and the wider world to completely change how we go about life. This has meant travelling less, working from home and social distancing. Unfortunately, it has also meant that people have lost jobs and income, forcing them to accept benefits. As a result, child support in Scotland has grown to include a COVID winter hardship grant. 

What is the COVID winter hardship grant?

The COVID winter hardship grant is a one-off payment of £100 per child. Only children who currently receive free school meals are entitled to it. It is money that you can spend however you want to. It helps families in Scotland needing financial support to get through the winter. 

This winter funding grant does not need to be paid back, and there are no strings attached. You can use the £100 per child to buy things like food and clothes, or go towards rent or electric bills. It’s up to you to spend it however you want to.

How do I get the Covid winter hardship grant?

The COVID winter hardship grant is available to families throughout the East Dunbartonshire area.  It’s different to child benefit or family allowance in Scotland because you only get it once, and it is automatically deposited into your account if your child or children receive free school meals. 

You might also get the hardship grant if you’re experiencing financial hardship. This could be if you are waiting on your first Universal Credit payment, or your immigration status means you cannot get help from the government. 

a child with younger sibling looking out of window

And remember, not every child in Scotland will receive this grant. You won’t be eligible if your child:

  • gets universal free school meals in primary 1 to 3 (primary 4 in some schools) and you do not meet the eligibility criteria
  • is in early learning and childcare (nursery)
  • does not go to a council school
  • is home educated

However if you are eligible, your local council will automatically make the payment into the same bank account that the council has on record for you. This may be if you have had a clothing grant payment from them. For those in East Dunbartonshire, this will be the East Dunbartonshire Council

Free school meals

Your child needs to receive free school meals for you to get this payment. To apply for free school meals in East Dunbartonshire, please visit the council website

Further grants

This is a tough time to get through, but there are other grants and child support in Scotland to help families during the Coronavirus pandemic. See our blogs on additional help here. Also, if you would like to speak to one of our advisors, please get in touch. Our advice is free and confidential.

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