Financial Support for Parents/Carers SLC Updated 15 March 2021

Financial support for parents/carers

Updated 15 March 2021

 

SLC have launched the following financial support for families:

  • Free school meals payments during school restrictions
  • Free school meals payments during school holidays
  • Free school meals payment for pupils who are self-isolating (not applicable to those pupils in S1-S6 who continue remote learning at home)
  • Free school meals payments for pupils who are shielding during the current lockdown (not applicable to those pupils in S1-S6 who continue remote learning at home)
  • Spring hardship payment – schools, Early Learning and childcare

Information on free school meals payments has been updated in light of the latest developments on the continued phased return of pupils to schools, effective from Monday 15 March 2021.

 

SCHOOL RESTRICTIONS

In light of the continued phased return of pupils to schools from Monday 15 March 2021, the parents and carers of pupils in S1-S6 will receive £42 by Monday 15 March 2021 for each eligible child covering the period from Monday 15 March to Thursday 1 April 2021 (14 school days).  Given the full-time return of all primary schools from Monday 15 March 2021, primary school pupils are not eligible for this payment.

Future payment arrangements for this group will be in line with Scottish Government plans for the wider return of pupils and any local considerations that may apply. Future changes will be communicated to parents and carers via the usual channels.

The payment referred to above will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £610 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,330) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give SLC your bank details if SLC don’t already have them.

In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by cheque or PayPoint voucher.

Who is eligible for a free school meal payment during the phased return to schools?

Any household with a child or young person eligible for free school meals who have not yet to return to school who get any of the benefits listed above. This includes all secondary schools, including secondary ASN schools. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200259/education_benefits/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals/2

Are shielding children in P1-3 (excluding those entitled to the universal provision of P1-3 meals) eligible for this payment?

Yes. Any pupil eligible for free school meals and who previously received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising that they should not attend school and shield is eligible for a payment. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page.

When will I receive my payments?

SLC aim to have payments issued by Monday 15 March 2021.

Will I get a payment for each of my children?

Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

Do I need to apply for this payment?

No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if SLC don’t already have them. In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?

You should use SLC’s enquiry form. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/forms/form/348/en/covid-19_-_free_school_meals_enquiry

If you have any other questions about free school meals during school holidays use SLC’s enquiry form

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

The Scottish Government has given councils funding for pupils who get free school meals (excluding those entitled to universal provision of P1-3 meals) for the following school holidays:

  • Spring break 2021 – one-off payment of £33 paid by Wednesday 31 March

Although all P1-3 pupils receive a free school meal the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £610 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,330) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if SLC don’t already have them.

In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by cheque or PayPoint voucher.

Who is eligible for a free school meal payment during school holidays?

Any household with a child or young person eligible for free school meals who attends primary or secondary school, (including ASN schools), who get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200259/education_benefits/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals/2

Are all children in P1-P3 eligible for this payment?

No. Although, all P1 to P3 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page.

Does this payment include nursery children?

No, nursery children are not legally entitled to free school meals. The current statutory entitlement is 600 hours per year and does not include providing food.

When will I receive my payments?

SLC aim to have payments issued by Wednesday 31 March 2021.

Will I get a payment for each of my children?

Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

Do I need to apply for this payment?

No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if SLC don’t already have them. In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?

You should use SLC’s enquiry form. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/forms/form/348/en/covid-19_-_free_school_meals_enquiry

If you have any other questions about free school meals during school holidays use SLC’s enquiry form.

 

SELF ISOLATING

For pupils in P1-7, a one-off payment of £30 will be made to parents/carers towards the cost of lunch for pupils who are eligible for free school meals but can’t attend school because they are self-isolating as part of the Test and Protect Scheme.

This excludes those entitled to the universal provision of P1-3 meals.

This will begin for any new cases of pupils self-isolating from Monday 22 February 2021 onwards. Payments will not be backdated.

Your child will have been advised to self-isolate because they have:

  • tested positive for COVID-19
  • been in close contact with someone at school who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • been in close contact with someone in their household or another social contact who has tested positive for COVID-19

This does not cover short periods of isolation, where pupils are waiting for a test result because:

  • they are displaying symptoms
  • another household member is displaying symptoms
  • Pupils eligible for free school meals will not be paid the one-off payment for these short periods of absence, however, if the pupil or household member tests positive and the pupil needs to isolate for a longer period, the payment will be made.

Although all P1-3 pupils receive a free school meal the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £610 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,330) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The one-off payment of £30 will be paid within 6 working days after the 4th day of absence, provided you already receive free school meals. This means payment will be made towards the end of the self-isolation period.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

Who is eligible to receive a free school meal payment while they are self-isolating?

Any child or young person eligible for free school meals through means testing who attends primary or secondary school, (including ASN schools) and who needs to self-isolate, either because they have tested positive or they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Note this is for new cases of pupils self-isolating from Monday 22 February 2021.

Are all children in P1-3 eligible for this payment if self-isolating?

No. Although, all P1 to P3 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200259/education_benefits/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals/2

Does this payment include nursery children?

No, nursery children are not legally entitled to free school meals. The current statutory entitlement is 600 hours per year and does not include providing food.

Do I need to apply for this payment?

No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

When will I receive the payment?

SLC will aim to pay you within 6 working days after the 4th day of absence from school. This means payment will be made towards the end of the self-isolation period.

My child was self-isolating in January and is entitled to free school meals. Can I get a back-dated payment for them?

No, this payment was introduced on Monday 22 February 2021 and covers all new cases of self-isolation of eligible pupils from that date.

Do I need to show the school evidence of the request to self-isolate to receive this payment?

You may be asked to give the school proof from NHS Test and Protect.

Is there any other support available during this difficult time?

Yes, our Community Wellbeing line can give you help and support. You can phone them on 0303 123 1009 but information on other help available is on the How to get help page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200228/health_and_medical_information/1863/coronavirus_covid-19_advice/2

I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?

You should use SLC’s enquiry form. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/forms/form/348/en/covid-19_-_free_school_meals_enquiry

If you have any other questions about free school meal payments while self-isolating use SLC’s enquiry form.

 

SHEILDING

Any pupil in P1-7 eligible for free school meals and who previously received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising that they should not attend school and shield will receive a payment in line with those pupils in S1-S6 still currently subject to the restrictions in place.

This excludes those entitled to the universal provision of P1-3 meals.

You do not have to apply – if you are eligible you will be paid automatically by Monday 15 March 2021.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year.

In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

Who is eligible to get a free school meal payment whilst shielding?

Any child or young person eligible for free school meals who attends primary or secondary school, (including ASN schools) and has previously received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer instructing them to shield. This is only available to those who are shielding and do not attend school during the current lockdown period.

Are all children in P1-P3 eligible for this payment if shielding?

No. Although, all P1 to P3 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on eligibility see the Free school meals page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200259/education_benefits/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals/2

Does this payment include nursery children?

No, nursery children are not legally entitled to free school meals. The current statutory entitlement is 600 hours per year and does not include providing food.

Do I need to apply for this payment?

No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by PayPoint voucher.

Do I need to give the school proof of the shielding letter from the Chief Medical Officer to receive this payment?

You may need to provide the school with proof of the shielding letter from the Chief Medical Officer.

My child is entitled to free school meals but hasn’t received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer. Due to family circumstances we are choosing to shield. Will I receive the free school meal shielding payment?

No, only children entitled to free school meals, and who have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer will receive this payment. However, your child will still receive holiday payment if they meet the relevant criteria.

My child received a shielding letter, but we have decided they will still attend school, as we are confident with the measures the school has in place to keep them safe. Do we still receive payment?

No. If your child is attending school they will receive their free meal at school. This payment is only for those who are shielding and not attending school during the current lockdown period.

When will I receive the payment?

SLC will aim to make this payment by Monday 15 March 2021. After that payments will be made fortnightly according to your child’s requirement to shield.

Is there any other support available during this difficult time?

Yes, our Community Wellbeing line can give you help and support. You can phone them on 0303 123 1009 but information on other help available is on the How to get help page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200228/health_and_medical_information/1863/coronavirus_covid-19_advice/2

I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?

You should use SLC’s enquiry form. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/forms/form/348/en/covid-19_-_free_school_meals_enquiry

If you have any other questions about free school meal payments while shielding use SLC’s enquiry form.

SPRING HARDSHIP

This is a one-off payment of £100 to help families of children entitled to free school meals (excluding those entitled to universal provision of P1-3 meals) with spring costs such as food, fuel and other essentials.

This spring payment is being provided to any child or young person who attends a South Lanarkshire Council school and whose parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit and are therefore eligible for a means tested free school meal.

The payment is also being made to any child who attends an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) establishment in South Lanarkshire and meets the criteria for means tested free school meal provision for schools.

Although all P1-3 pupils receive a free school meal, the payments will only be made if you get any of the following benefits and are therefore eligible for free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and your earned income is less than £610 as assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions in the assessment period immediately preceding the application for free school meals)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a gross annual income less than £16,105 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice TC602)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax credit (with a gross annual income less than £7,330) as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs on your Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will automatically be paid by Wednesday 31 March 2021.

The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if SLC do not already have them.

In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by cheque.

Who is eligible to receive a spring hardship payment?

Any child or young person eligible for free school meals through means testing, i.e. whose parent/carer(s) are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, who attends an ELC establishment, primary or secondary school (including ASN schools). For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200259/education_benefits/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals/2

Are all children in P1-P3 eligible for the spring hardship payment?

No. Although, all P1 to P3 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page

Does the spring hardship payment include nursery children?

Yes. Using the same free school meals criteria, eligible children in ELC establishments are included. If your child attends an ELC establishment and you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you will receive the payment. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free school meals page.

Do I need to apply for the spring hardship payment?

No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details SLC already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments earlier this year. SLC have sent you an email or a letter with a link to complete a form to give us your bank details if SLC do not already have them. In exceptional circumstances SLC may pay by cheque.

When will I receive the payment?

SLC aim to have payments issued by Wednesday 31 March 2021.

Will I get a payment for each of my children?

Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.

I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?

You should use SLC’s enquiry form. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/forms/form/348/en/covid-19_-_free_school_meals_enquiry

If you have any other questions about the spring hardship payment use SLC”s enquiry form.