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 at least 16 hours per week 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 £606 for your first child and £303 for other children. An extra £303 is even paid for multiple births.
    • Early Learning Payments - A £252.50 payment for children between 2 and 3 years 6 months old help with the costs of early learning such as nursery day trips or home-learning equipment.
    • School Age Payments - A £252.50 payment when a child starts Primary 1 to help with the costs of a child starting school. It can be used to pay for 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 and eggs. 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 £252.50, or the higher rate of £404 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 15 to 25 and have a disability or impairment, this 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.

          ILF Scotland Transition Fund
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          Check eligibility for Child Winter Heating Assistance Payments

          These yearly payments of £200 are to help with heating costs.  To be eligible, your child must live in Scotland and be receiving the highest rate of Care Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). You don’t have to apply for this as it should be paid automatically by Social Security Scotland.

          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 eligibility for Winter fuel payments

            A yearly one-off payment between £100 to £300 to help you pay for heating during the winter. It is usually paid automatically, and you must have reached pension age to be eligible. This will eventually be replaced by Winter Heating Assistance for Scottish residents when it is transferred to the Scottish Government.

            The deadline for you to make a claim for winter 2021 to 2022 is 31 March 2022. 

              Winter fuel payment
              (opens in new window)

              Check eligibility for Cold weather payments

              Automatic one-off payments of £25 for people on certain benefits during very cold weather to help with extra heating costs.  The average temperature must be recorded at 0 degrees (centigrade) or below for 7 days in a row. These payments will eventually be replaced by Cold Spell Heating Payments for Scottish Residents when they are transferred to the Scottish Government.

              Please note that the Cold Weather Scheme for  winter 2020 to 2021 is now closed but will re-open again from 1st November 2021 to 31st March 2022. 

                Cold weather 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

                Provided if you are in immediate financial need and to ensure you or your family’s health and safety is not at serious risk, for example you've experienced a fire or flood. If you've already had three crisis grants in the past year, you might still be able to get another one. The Scottish government have advised that councils should allow this because of coronavirus.

                  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.

                        Young people aged between 16 to 19 in Scotland are entitled to concessions on the cost of travel on buses, trains and ferries. You must apply for a National Entitlement Card in order to access the scheme. Find out more on Concessionary fares for Younger People on our website using the link below. 

                          Transport Scotland's National entitlement card
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                          Concessionary Fares for Younger People
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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
                            (opens in new window)

                            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.