A woman sits at a desk as a freelance illustrator at her computer with a tattoo on her arm

Finding grants for freelancers in Scotland

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, freelancers have had to try their hardest to continue working their usual roles. Many have diverted their energies to other types of work. Whilst this has seen some seek permanent employment, others have not been able to do so and so have struggled to find an income. There are some Coronavius business support and grants for freelancers available to workers in Scotland, and ways to ensure some money flows in each month. 

A plumber working with a spanner in hand as she works on a boiler system as she smiles at the camera.

All types of freelancer can apply for Coronavirus help, from plumbers and electricians to writers and illustrators.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

This fund which closes on the 23rd March is for those freelancers who have not been eligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. It is a one-off payment of £4,000 and to apply, applicants must first ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. 

The two key criteria to meet are that applicants:

(i)  Became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 but before 17 March 2020 (and are therefore ineligible for the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme because you did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19).


(ii)  Became self-employed between 1 October 2018 and 6 April 2019 but are ineligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) because you weren’t self-employed for a sufficient period of time in the 2018/19 Financial Year to demonstrate that you derived 50% of your income from self-employment.

Further eligibility criteria, and how to apply, is presented on the Business Support website

Universal Credit

Freelancers who have seen a drop in income may be eligible to sign up for Universal Credit. It helps with living costs, and is paid to most people once a month. The main eligibility criteria are that you must be:

  • on a low income or out of work
  • 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • living in the UK
  • and that you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you

You are able to earn a certain amount of money each month before it affects how much Universal Credit is paid. This means reporting your income online each month is vital.

Find out more and apply to Universal Credit here

A freelance writer sits on his laptop in a yellow jumper.

Freelancers all over the UK have options to apply for grants or money.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme has been running since 2020, and opens periodically for new applications. There will be a fourth grant available from late April 2021. A fifth grant is also planned from late July. 

To be eligible for this Coronavirus business grant, you must currently be trading, but impacted by the pandemic. To find out about further eligibility criteria, please visit the UK government website

Find other grants in Scotland

For those looking for grants for freelancers in Scotland, the website FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot is a useful resource. It details all the places you can look to help support yourself through this time, and any new avenues that appear after Scottish coronavirus updates. However, if you would like to speak to the Citizen’s Advice, we can help guide you to the right areas for help, or advise on how to stay out of debt after Coronavirus. Simple book an appointment with us today to start.

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