COVID-19 Financial Assistance

Financial support

Crisis Grant

A crisis grant is money given to those in financial crisis, and it doesn't have to be paid back. You can apply online or contact us to book an appointment.

We may be able to help if you are:

  • no longer able to work or have had hours reduced because of COVID-19
  • do not have any savings or other sources of income

If you have made a claim for a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit and you have not received a payment yet, before applying for a Crisis Grant you should apply for a:

  • DWP Hardship Payment
  • Short Term Benefit Advance
  • Universal Credit advance payment

If your application is successful, you'll receive a text message with a code that can be used to redeem cash from a Paypoint vendor. Find your nearest Paypoint by searching for your postcode. 

We aim to make a decision on your crisis grant application by 4.45pm the next working day.

Self-Isolation Grant

If you have been contacted through Test and Protect and have been advised to isolate due to COVID-19, you may be entitled to financial assistance.

To be eligible for financial assistance, you must be employed at the time you were advised to isolate and be in receipt of certain benefits.

You can make an application for a one off payment by completing our online application form.

We aim to make payment within three days of you providing all the required information. Payments will be made directly in to your bank account.

If you would like help with your application or you wish to apply over the phone, phone Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800.

Tenant Grant Fund

A Tenant Grant Fund has been set up to help tenants who are at risk of becoming homeless because they've fallen behind with rent payments during COVID-19.

Applications will be assessed to ensure that support is provided to households at greatest risk of becoming homeless.

Eligibility

If you're a tenant and have struggled financially as a direct result of the pandemic you should apply before 31 March 2022.

Your rent arrears must have built up between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021, and your landlord should have carried out steps to resolve the issue with you.

We'll make full or partial payments if your application is sucessful, and for a maximum period of 12 months between the above dates.

How to apply

Tenants can apply online.

There's information you'll need to hand to be able to submit your application, which is detailed at the beginning of the form.

If you need support with your application you can ask your landlord or a member of your family or a friend. You can also contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau for support.

Information for landlords

Payment will be made directly to you to reduce your tenant's arrears. As a condition of the payment you must agree to end any ongoing proceedings.

Private landlords must be registered on the Scottish Landlord Register

FAQs

I've not had a call back from the DWP to carry out verification, what can I do?

All online claims are currently being verified over the phone and there are a high number of customers who are not answering their phone due to the call coming from a private, number withheld or 0800 numbers.

If you have a claim for benefits, be aware of this and answer any calls. You can hang up if it's not DWP and you don't want to speak to them.

The DWP will send customers a message via their UC Journal advising them that they will be calling soon and when on the call, will provide digits from their UC Account Number and the customer's postcode so they know it is a genuine DWP call.

I can't afford to pay my Housing Benefit Overpayment, what should I do?

If your circumstances have changed and can't afford to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment arrangement, you should contact us and we will discuss a more suitable payment arrangement with you.

I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off, what should I do?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living cost, this includes help towards your rent. You can phone the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644.

You will have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you do not need to be married.

You should also apply for Council Tax Reduction.

I am self-employed and am not earning enough to pay my bills?

You may be eligible for Universal Credit to help with your living costs, this includes help towards your rent. You can phone the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644.

You'll have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together but you don't need to be married.

You should also apply for Council Tax Reduction.

Important information for self-employed residents

Normally if you are self-employed and have low income levels your Universal Credit entitlement may be calculated using an assumed level of earnings, called a minimum income floor.

It's based on what an employed person on minimum wage would expect to earn in similar circumstances. If you earn more than this, then your Universal Credit amount is based on your actual earnings.

The government however has temporarily removed this minimum income floor and will calculate your Universal Credit based on your actual earnings.

I am off sick with COVID-19, what are the rules?

As part of the Government's strategy to support people affected by COVID-19, the DWP is making a number of changes to its benefit processes to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system. Find out what support is available for employees, benefits claimants and businesses.

I have less income this month and cannot pay my rent?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it is important that you keep in touch with them and let them know if you are going to miss a payment or not be able to pay the full amount.

The DWP can help with living and rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit. 

You can also check whether you're eligible for the Tenant Grant Fund. 

What should I do if the money I receive towards my rent doesn't cover the full rent charge? 

You should make an application for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).

To be considered for a DHP you must either be:

  • entitled to some Housing Benefit from us
  • getting Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs

My landlord is going to evict me because I won't be able to pay my rent this month, what should I do?

Whether your landlord is a private or social landlord, it's important you keep in touch with them and let them know if you're going to miss a payment, or not be able to pay the full amount.

The DWP can help with living and rent costs and you should claim Universal Credit.

If legal action is being taken against you because you owe money, get free support and advice from:

I can't pay my mortgage, what should I do? 

You should contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible to discuss a payment holiday.

How do I get help to pay mortgage interest?

If you're a home owner getting certain income related benefits, you might be eligible for the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme. This is help towards interest payments on:

  • your mortgage
  • loans you've taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home

You can get legal advice from the Scottish Government website. 

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

The Government has a Pregnancy and Baby Payment to help eligible families with the expenses of having a new child. 

Scottish Child Payment

The Government has introduced a Scottish Child Payment to provide help towards the cost of supporting your family.

Open letter from Minister

Read the open letter from Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning to social housing tenants in Scotland. You can also download a large print version.