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Financial support

Worried about how coronavirus will impact on your finances?

This is a difficult time for us all. We know that there are many parents in Scotland who will be impacted financially because of coronavirus. We don’t have all the answers, but hopefully the following information will help. We will keep this as up-to-date as possible, as more information comes in.

What financial support is available for me?

If you’ve been financially affected by coronavirus, and if you’re eligible, you should apply for Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make this process easier. Find out more about the changes here.

Am I eligible for any grants?

If you are experiencing a crisis you may be eligible for a Crisis Grant through the Scottish Welfare Fund. A Crisis Grant is available to low income individuals who are in a crisis because of a disaster (like a fire or flood), or an emergency (like losing your money or an unexpected expense). You should apply for a Crisis Grant directly through your local authority. You can find further information on the Scottish Welfare Fund and links to your local authority’s website here.

You may also be eligible for a Best Start Grant and/or Best Start Foods payment card.

You can also contact the Money Talk Team, who can help you find out what supports and grants you may be entitled to. You can call them on their freephone number 0800 085 7145 or visit the Money Talk Team website for more information or to chat to an adviser.

Changes to payment applications for parents

At the start of the coronavirus situation, the Scottish Parliament made some changes to the way that Social Security Scotland will process benefits.

These changes support people who have been affected by coronavirus to access benefits.

If you were late in applying for a payment because of coronavirus, you may still be able to get the following benefits:

Best Start Pregnancy and Baby Payment: applications can be made up to the day a child turns one, or one year and six months for an application from a kinship carer.

Parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. You could still be eligible after your 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that you couldn’t get your application in on time.

Best Start Early Learning Payment: eligibility could increase up to a child’s 4th birthday.

Parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. You could still be eligible after your 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that you couldn’t get your application in on time.

Best Start School Age Payment: as with Pregnancy and Baby Payment and Early Learning Payment, parents or carers under the age of 18 are automatically entitled to this payment – even if they are not on benefits. You could still be eligible after your 18th birthday if Covid-19 meant that you couldn’t get your application in on time.

I can't register the birth of my child - can I still claim child benefit?

At the moment you can’t register the birth of a new baby because of coronavirus. You can find out more about this on the MyGov website. However, you can still claim Child Benefit without having to register your child’s birth – simply add a note along with the claim to state you haven’t been able to register your baby’s birth yet. Here’s some wording you can use:

Please note that my child’s birth has not yet been registered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am aware I can still claim so my child benefit form is attached. You can find information on claiming child benefit during the coronavirus outbreak on the UK Government website.

What other support is available for me?

Citizens Advice Scotland has information about your rights if you're unable to go to work

Money Talk Team, from the Citizens Advice network in Scotland, can help you see what you might be entitled to, and offer you advice to help make your money go further. You can call the team on 0800 085 7145 or visit the Money Talk Team website for more information or to chat to an adviser.

Advice Direct Scotland are continuing to provide free, confidential advice to everyone in Scotland regardless of age, background or circumstance. They are helping people find out what rights they have, and how they can exercise them. You can call their helpline on 0808 800 9060 or visit the Advice Direct Scotland website.

Consumeradvice.scot has prepared advice and information for those who have been affected by coronavirus. Call their helpline on 0808 164 6000 or visit the Consumer Advice Scot website. They can also be contacted via email, webchat, and Facebook.

One Parent Families are an organisation dedicated to enabling single parent families to reach their full potential. They will continue to provide support in local areas through phone calls, texts and local Facebook groups.

StepChange provide free debt advice in Scotland. You can use their online debt advice tool, their webchat facility or call their free helpline on 0800 138 1111.

National Debtline have created a fact sheet for coronavirus which provides advice and information that can help. They have a webchat facility and you can also call them on 0808 808 4000.

Ready Scotland have listed organisations who may be able to offer help and advice at this time. Visit readyscotland.org.

How can I balance work and childcare?

With more businesses now reopening, you may have concerns about going back to work. Our page on returning to work has more information on your rights, and our page on childcare has more details on the help available for looking after your children.