This section is quite lengthy in parts. Please take time to read through all sections to find the best suitable grants. 

    You might be able to increase your income by getting a grant.  Grants don't need to be paid back and can be given as money, products or services. They are usually one-off payments but can also help you reduce your outgoings by providing funding towards bills and debts. 

    Grants can be given by different organisations, like: 

    • Scottish Government - including those to help young carers, families with children and with funeral costs. 
    • UK Government - including Bereavement Support and Winter Fuel Payments 
    • Your local council - including the Scottish Welfare Fund and help with Transport Costs 
    • Charities

    Each organisation will have specific criteria which you must meet in order to be eligible for their grant award.

    You usually have to be in financial need or on a low income, but this can vary depending on the type of grant and their eligibility criteria. 

    Scottish Government Grants

    If you live in Scotland, you might be eligible for various grants which include:

    Check eligibility for Young Carer’s Grant

    A yearly payment available for young carers aged 16 to 18 who do an average of 16 hours per week or more caring for someone. You can add up the hours you spend caring for up to 3 different people if they are being paid certain disability benefits.

    Young Carer's Grant
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    Check eligibility for Best Start Grants

    A package of three payments to provide extra money for parents and carers during the early years of a child’s life:

    • Pregnancy and Baby Payments - For low income families to help with the costs of pregnancy or having a new child. You can receive £754.65 for your first child and £377.35 for other children. An extra £377.35 is even paid for multiple births.
    • Early Learning Payments - A £314.45 payment for children between 2 and 3 years 6 months old. You can spend this money on anything you need for your child at this age, such as toys, clothes or to pay for trips to new places.
    • School Age Payments - A £314.45 payment when a child starts Primary 1 to help with the costs of a child starting school. It can be used to pay for anything you need for your child at this age, such as school trips or after school activities.
    Best Start Grant
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    Check eligibility for Best Start Foods

    Best Start Foods replaced the Healthy Start Voucher scheme in Scotland. You may be able to get this grant if you live in Scotland and are pregnant or have children aged up to 3 years old. 

    To get the grant will depend on your age and income. If you are entitled, you will get a pre-paid card to help you buy baby formula, fruit, vegetables, eggs and pulses like lentils, beans, peas and barley

      This page also lets you find out more on how to use your Best Start Food card in shops. 

        Best Start Foods
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        Check eligibility for Funeral Support Payments

        These payments are available to help low income households with the costs of funerals. You can receive a one-off payment for reasonable funeral costs. There are no set amounts as the award is calculated based on your individual circumstances.

          Funeral Support Payment
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          Check eligibility for Job Start Payments

          These payments are available for young people aged 16 to 24 years old. If you are eligible, you will receive a one-off grant of £314.45, or the higher rate of £503.10 if you're the main carer of any children. These grants can help with the costs of starting a new job such as transport costs or buying a new work outfit.

          Job Start Payment
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          Check eligibility for the ILF Scotland Transition fund

          If you're aged 16 to 25 and have a disability or impairment, the Independent Living Fund helps you to take part in a new activity or learn a new skill, for example training courses, art or music lessons. If successful, you can decide when you would like to receive your payments in a way which suits your needs.

          Please note, due to unprecedented demand on the Fund, from 1 January 2024, all new grants will be restricted to first time applicants for the foreseeable future. 

          The fund's current processing time for all applications is 19 weeks so please be patient as they are unable to predict how long individual applications will take. 

          ILF Scotland Transition Fund
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          Check eligibility for Low Income Winter Heating Assistance

          A guaranteed annual winter heating benefit of £58.75 will be paid for winter period 2024 to 2025 to help with your energy bills, irrespective of weather conditions or temperature levels where you live. It will be an automatic payment to all those who are eligible, so there is no need to apply.

          To receive these payments, you must be receiving a qualifying benefit, which includes Pension Credit, Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest.

          It will be administered by Social Security Scotland and will replace the UK Government's Cold Weather Payments for Scotland.

            Low Income Winter Heating Assistance
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            Check eligibility for Child Winter Heating Payments

            These yearly payments of £251.70 are to help with heating costs.  To be eligible, your child or Young Person must live in Scotland and have been receiving one of the following benefits in the third week in September:

            • the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
            • the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
            • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
            • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

            The payment does not have to be used to pay heating costs.

            In 2024 the qualifying week will be Monday 16 September to Sunday 22 September.

            Scottish Child Winter Heating Assistance Payments
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            For more information on any of the above grants currently being delivered as well as updates on upcoming benefits and grants, please visit the Social Security Scotland benefit pages here.

            UK Government Grants

            You might also be eligible for grants from the UK Government and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).These are explained below

            Check eligibility for Bereavement Support Payments

            These payments are available for widows, widowers or surviving civil partners who have lost their husband, wife or civil partner in the last 21 months.

            You must claim within 3 months of your partner’s death to get the full amount. You can claim up to 21 months after their death but you’ll get fewer monthly payments.

              Bereavement support payment
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              Check if you have a Child Trust Fund

              If you are aged 16 or over and were born after the 1st of September 2002 you are likely to have a Child Trust Fund. This is money put into a personal account for you by the Government. Your parent or guardian might know who your Child Trust Fund provider is, but if not, you can fill out a form on Sharefound's website to request that they find it for you.

              MoneyHelper's blog gives further information on how to access the Child Trust Fund for free and to avoid organisations who are offering to find lost/matured funds at a cost. 

              Child Trust Fund
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              Help to find your Child Trust Fund
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              MoneyHelper Access Child Trust Fund for Free
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              Check eligibility for Winter fuel payments

              A yearly one-off payment between £250 to £600 for people born on or before 25 September 1957 to help you pay for heating during the winter. It is usually paid automatically, and you must have reached pension age to be eligible. 

                Winter fuel payment
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                Get a Grant from your Local Council

                You might also be eligible for grants from your local council. Your local council might have its own eligibility criteria and application processes for the following grants.

                Please Note

                The links below will take you to the Scottish Government’s website where you can select your own council from a Drop-Down menu. This will move you onto your council’s website. In most cases, you should end up on the relevant page relating to the particular grant you have chosen. In some cases, you may end up on your council’s main page and you will have to search for the particular grant. If you are having issues navigating your council’s website, contact your council for further support.

                Immediate Support with Scottish Welfare Fund

                If you’re over 16 and on a low income, you might be eligible for a grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund which is a fund to help those experiencing crisis or who need support to live independently in their community.

                There are two types of grants:

                Check eligibility for Crisis grants

                If you are in immediate financial need, for example you've experienced a fire or flood, you may be able to access a crisis grant to ensure you or your family’s health and safety is not at serious risk. You can apply for a Crisis Grant through your local council, use the Scottish Governments page  in the link below to find your local council's information on how to apply. 

                  Crisis grants
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                  Check eligibility for Community care grants

                  If you are on a low income, these payments can help you live independently in your community or maintain your home. It is normally paid to people leaving care, moving into a new home after being homeless or leaving prison. The grants cover household items needed to set up or maintain your home. There is no limit to the number of community care grants you can apply for within any 12-month period.

                    Community care grants
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                    Please Note

                    It is important to check your eligibility for these grants before you apply. The information contained within these links will help you plan out your application. If you are having issues applying for the Scottish Welfare Fund online, contact your council immediately.

                    Help with transport costs

                    Local councils can provide support with transport costs

                    Check eligibility for Free school transport

                    Provided for children who meet a range of different eligibility criteria such as if you are on a low income, your child has additional support needs or health issues or if your child’s school isn’t within walking distance. Each local council sets their own eligibility criteria and might give you free transport for other reasons.

                      Free school transport for your child
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                      Check eligibility for Blue Badge Scheme

                      The Blue Badge allows you park in areas which other drivers cannot such as disabled parking spaces, reducing parking charges. It can also entitle you to other concessions such as exemption from road tax. To apply online, you will need a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders and supporting evidence such as proof of address and proof of identity. If you cannot apply online or you need more support, you will need to contact your local council. Find details for your local council on GOV.UK.

                        Blue badge scheme
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                        Check eligibility for a National Entitlement Card

                        If you are over 60 or have a disability, you may be able to apply to your local council for a free bus pass also known as a National Entitlement Card.  You can find out how to apply for a free bus pass on Transport Scotland’s website. This provides a list of all Local Authorities and their contact information to apply for the card, including direct links to applying online.

                        All young people and children aged 5-21 years are eligible for free bus travel with their National Entitlement card. Find out more information on how to apply and use the card from Transport Scotland's website. You can also find out more information on concessionary fares for younger people on our website.

                          Transport Scotland's National entitlement card
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                          Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme Scotland
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                          Grants for Young People

                          Check eligibility for Education Maintenance Allowance

                          This is payable to those aged 16 to 19 years old and studying at school or college beyond school leaving age. You must be from a low-income household. The college, education centre or school you attend will be able to give you an application form which must be provided to your local council.

                          Education Maintenance Allowance
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                          Getting a grant from a Charity

                          Across Scotland and the UK, there are numerous charitable trusts which will provide financial funds that can help you.

                          Check eligibility for Charitable Grants

                          Many charities in the UK provide grants based on your individual circumstances, like your current or past employment, health conditions or even religious background. This means you must meet their eligibility criteria to be successful.

                          To find out what grants you could get, use Turn2Us Grant Search below. Turn2us have provided a handy guide to help you make the most out of their search facility.

                          This useful Search tool will detail what each Charity requires from you to apply as well as links and instructions on how to make an application.

                            Turn2Us Grant Search
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                            Please Note

                            Applications can be lengthy and may take some time to complete or process. However, they can result in great awards which can help you, especially if you are in crisis or debt. 

                            Each charity has their own application process and you might need the help of another organisation, like your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

                            There is no automatic entitlement to charitable grants and awards are given at the discretion of each charitable trust.