More Than £14m Awarded in Winter Hardship Payments

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Financial Help for Families in Need

£14.41 million in COVID Winter Hardship Payments has been paid out to support struggling households as part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Plan for Social Protection.

A total of 144,128 of the payments have been made by local authorities to families across Scotland.

They are available to families with children receiving Free School Meals on the basis of low income.

A one-off payment of £100 was made by councils for each eligible child in receipt of Free School Meals between 30 November and the start of the winter holidays.

Commenting, Graeme said:

Struggling households in Angus and all over the country continue to face lost earnings alongside, for example, higher heating costs at this incredibly difficult time.

I am pleased that the Winter Hardship Payments have gone out to some of the most in need, and hope this additional support will have helped ease the strain for these families this winter.

It is just one of the ways this Scottish Government is continuing to support people – with over £50 million extra funding provided to councils to continue the expanded free school meals provision.

Over £500 million in total has gone to mitigate the pandemic impact – including a £22 million increase to the Scottish Welfare Fund and investment in support provided by community and third sector organisations – and the Scottish Child Payment is due to start next week.

 

Background

The £100 million Winter Plan for Social Protection was developed to mitigate social harms posed by the concurrent risks of COVID-19, winter cost of living increases and EU exit – as well as to promote equality and human rights.

Families are eligible for their children to receive Free School Meals on the basis of low income if they receive certain benefits or their local council considers they are facing financial hardship. Further information on eligibility and how to register can be found at School meals – mygov.scot

Funding for Free School Meals has been provided as follows:

  • April – June 2020: £15 million – remote learning
  • July – Sept 2020: £12.6 million – summer holidays
  • Oct 2020 – March 2021: £6.95 million – Oct, Christmas and Feb holidays
  • Jan 2021: £7.057 million – remote learning
  • Feb 2021: £5.841 million – remote learning
  • April 2021: £4.29 million – Easter holidays

This funding has enabled local authorities to ensure that every eligible child has continued to receive a free school meal alternative – direct payment, voucher or food parcel – throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on the COVID Winter Hardship Payment can be found at: COVID winter hardship payment (£100 per child) – mygov.scot