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 P1-4 meals) and clothing grants with winter costs such as food, fuel, and other essentials. The payment is funded by the Scottish Government as part of its Winter Support Fund for low income households.
The Winter Support 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. This payment is extended to include those parent/carer(s) who have children entitled to school clothing grants but who are not eligible for means tested free school meals.
Although all P1-4 pupils receive a free school meal, the payments will principally 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 £625 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 £7,500) 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
As mentioned above, the payment has been extended to include those parent/carer(s) with children eligible for clothing grants only. You do not have to apply. If you are eligible the payment will automatically be paid by Wednesday 22 December 2021.
The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year.
In exceptional circumstances we may pay by cheque.
- Who is eligible to receive a Winter Support Payment?
A. 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 primary or secondary school (including ASN schools), as well as those parent/carer(s) whose children are in receipt of clothing grant only. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals and School ClothingGrants pages. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200186/primary_school_information/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals
- Are all children in P1-P4 eligible for the Winter Support Payment?
A. No. Although, all P1 to P4 pupils automatically get a free school meal you will only get this payment if you get any of the benefits listed above or if your child is in receipt of clothing grant only. For more information on whether you are eligible, see the Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants pages. https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200186/primary_school_information/159/school_clothing_grants_and_free_school_meals
- Does the Winter Support Payment include pre-school aged children?
A. No, pre-school aged children are not eligible for this payment. The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6 – to find out more about this and to apply please visit Scottish Child Payment – mygov.scot. https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment
- Do I need to apply for the Winter Support Payment?
A. No. The payment will be made direct into your bank account using bank details we already have from making the footwear and clothing grant payments, along with the Covid-19 support payments earlier this year. In exceptional circumstances, we may pay by cheque.
- When will I receive the payment?
A. We aim to have payments issued by Wednesday 22 December 2021.
- Will I get a payment for each of my children?
A. Yes, you will receive a payment for each eligible child or young person.
- Will this payment affect my claim for Universal Credit?
A. If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as Capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other Capital totalling over £6,000. If you are concerned that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. https://www.gov.uk/sign-in-universal-credit
This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.
- Where can I find further information on the Winter Support Fund?
A. For further information on the Winter Support Fund, please visit the Scottish Government website. https://www.gov.scot/news/financial-help-for-families-in-need-1/
- I believe I should have received this payment but haven’t. Who should I contact?
A. You should use our 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 Winter Support Payment use our enquiry form.