COVID Spring Hardship Payment Application

Closed 1 Apr 2021

Opened 17 Mar 2021


COVID spring hardship payment

On 16 February 2021 the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced a £100 COVID spring hardship payment would be made to families for each child in receipt of Free School Meals because of low income and that this would include eligible pre-school aged children (aged 2-5) in Early Learning and Childcare settings. 

It will only cover pupils currently eligible, and applications we receive up until 1 April 2021 which we then approve.

Children receiving universal Free School Meals (those in P1-P3 not qualifying for Free School Meals) are not eligible.

How eligible families will receive the payment

Families registered with the local authority for free school meals before the Easter break will automatically receive the COVID Spring Hardship payment and do not need to apply. These automatic payments will include those pre-school aged children with an older sibling at a local authority primary or secondary school in East Lothian who is registered for free school meals.

If your child is in Early Learning and Childcare settings in East Lothian and does not have an older sibling at a primary or secondary School, you can apply for the £100 payment through the online application form link below.

The person making the application must be the person in receipt of the benefit, and only one application form is needed for all the pre-school aged children in the family you wish to claim for.

To complete the application you will be asked to provide the following:

  • Your details and your partner’s details (if applicable)
  • Your national insurance number
  • Your child's name(s), date of birth and nursery attending
  • Your bank account details (payments are paid directly to your bank account, we cannot accept post office accounts.  We can accept third party bank accounts)

You will also be asked to upload your benefit evidence before you can complete the application process.  You can do this by taking a screenshot of your full Universal Credit Payment Statement or taking a photograph of your full Child Tax Credit Award Notice. 

If you receive Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and receive housing benefit, we can check our system.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 1st April 2021.

Eligible applicants will receive payment week commencing 26 April.


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