Families on low incomes in receipt of free school meals can apply for a COVID winter hardship payment from Scottish Government
Families with children in receipt of free school meals due to reasons of low income are eligible for a £100 per child Covid winter hardship payment from the Scottish Government.
There are no restrictions on how families choose to spend the additional payment. The payment is per child not per household. However, P1-3 pupils receiving free school meals due to universal provision, not due to low income, are not eligible.
In Highland, the Highland Council will administer this payment on behalf of the Scottish Government. Eligible households do not require to apply for this payment, the Council will contact those families directly with payment details.
Households who think they are maybe eligible for the Covid winter hardship payment and have not received notification of an award by Monday 21 December 2020 should contact the Councils Welfare Support Team on or email
Who is eligible for free school meals due to low income?
Families with children in receipt of free school meals due to reasons of low income are eligible for the Covid winter hardship payment. Eligibility for Free School Meals based on low income, is where the household is in receipt of:
- Income Support
- Universal Credit (where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610).
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105 (as assessed by the HMRC)
- Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £7,330 (as assessed by the HMRC)
- If you are 16 to 18 yrs old and receive any of these benefits in your own right, then you can claim for yourself
- If you are an asylum seeker receiving support
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
The payment for the £100 per child Covid winter hardship payment will be made prior to Christmas for those who were in receipt of free school meals due to low income on 30 November 2020.
Households who apply and awarded free school meals due to low income after 30 November 2020 will be eligible for the Covid winter hardship payment up until 22 December 2020. Those eligible families will be notified, and an award will be made no later than 15 January 2021.
A cash payment via PayPoint voucher will be made to eligible households. Vouchers will be redeemable at local PayPoint outlets. A small minority of households will receive payment via Post Office Pay-out and will be advised in their notification.