Single Parent FAQs: Financial support for families


Our advice and information team, who work on our Lone Parent Helpline, webchat and Ask a Question feature, receive questions from single parents around Scotland every day.

Our new feature – Single Parent FAQs – on our newsletter and blog spotlights Frequently Asked Questions on a different topic each month.

This month, our advice team have been receiving a lot of calls from single parents regarding financial difficulties, particularly around items they need for themselves and their children, including food, fuel, clothing, white goods, school clothing, and adaptions for the home for disabled children.

See some of the answers we’ve given on the help families can get with these costs.

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See our previous issues of Single Parent FAQs on child maintenance, child contact,  Universal Credit, and getting back into education as a single parent.

Remember you can submit your own question via the Ask A Question feature on our website any time and our expert advisers will respond. This is open to single parents, their families, or anyone working to support single parent families – keep your questions coming!

Financial support FAQs

Q. I have been contacted by Test and Protect to say that my son has been in close contact with someone from school that tested positive for Covid-19, I have told my employer and they cannot pay me whilst I am off, I don’t know what I’m going to live off with no wages coming in.

A. The Scottish Government have made available a Self-Isolation Support Grant of £500. To get the grant all of these 4 things must apply:

1. You must be told by Test and Protect or the Incident Management Team to self-isolate, or you are:

  • the parent or carer of a child under 16 who has been told to self-isolate
  • caring for someone over 16 who has been told to self-isolate.

2. You must be employed or self-employed.

3. You will lose income because you cannot work from home.

4. You must be on a low income or getting one of these benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction.

You can apply for the grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund here.

Q. My son needs a new bed, and the cooker has stopped working I am having to cook with just one ring, and I have no oven, is there any help I can get?

A. You can apply to for these items from the Scottish Welfare Fund through your local council.

Q. I don’t have money to buy my children school uniforms. Is there any help I can get for uniforms?

A. You can apply to your local council for a uniform grant. More information can be found here.

Who can apply and the amount of money you will get depends on your local council. Everybody who gets a school clothing grant will get at least:

  • £120 per child of primary school age
  • £150 per child of secondary school age.

There are also local uniform banks that can help with new and good condition uniforms.

Q. Are there any grants that I can apply for sensory equipment for my disabled daughter? I have just started receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

A. There are grants you can apply to for equipment, such as the Family Fund.

There is also a grant finder online at the Turn2Us website.

Q. I have fuel debt and I do not know what to do. The amount keeps increasing and I do not know how I am going to pay it.

A. You can apply to your energy supplier for the Warm Home Discount. More information can be found here.

Home Energy Scotland can help you find grants too.

You could also contact Money Advice Scotland for debt advice and to help you budget your income.

Q. My children and I have had a tough time and I wanted to know if there is anywhere that could help us get a short break or could help us with a day trip?

A. The Family Holiday Association is a charity that can help with the cost of a short break or day out.

The Parent Club website has a great section on local activities and ideas for what to do over the summer.

Q. My car broke down and I had to pay to get it fixed and I now have no money for food or fuel what can I do?

A. The Scottish Welfare Fund can help through a crisis grant for essential items like food. It’s a grant so you don’t need to pay back.

Foodbanks can also help if you are struggling to buy food. You can search for foodbanks in your area here.

Q. Every month I just do not have enough money to get through the month. I am having to use food banks. Is there anything else I can claim?

A. We can do a benefit check to ensure you are receiving everything you are entitled to. Contact our national Lone Parent Helpline or webchat, or get in touch with our local services if you’re based in Dundee, Falkirk, Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Lanarkshire.

Q. I have had a benefit check done and I am receiving everything I am entitled to, however I run out of money every month. I just feel worried all the time that I am not going to be able to feed my children and keep them warm, is there anything I can do?

A. We have a great section on our My Life and Me website about managing your money, dealing with debt and coping with money worries.

Still have questions?

Contact our advisers via our Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323.

Or get in touch via the webchat, email or submit a question at our 'talk to us' section. We can offer advice and information on issues affecting single parents, including benefits, childcare, separation, work, child maintenance and more.

Talk to us