Eligible families in Orkney will receive a £200 direct payment to those children receiving free school meals due to low income – £100 from the Scottish Government COVID Hardship Payment and a further top up payment of £100 from Orkney Islands Council .
250 children in Orkney will benefit with the money paid directly to families before Christmas and those receiving it will be able to use it for whatever they need.
This payment is per child, not per household, and for those families on a low income.
At the General Meeting of the Council, OIC Leader Councillor James Stockan said:
“These are extraordinary times we are living through and our most vulnerable families in Orkney are likely to be worst hit. That is why we as a Council have universally decided to make a supplementary payment of £100 on top of the Government grant.
“This additional £25,000 will come from a discretionary grant we hold from the Scottish Government. Our officials are to be commended for their swift response in ensuring this additional money will be with our most vulnerable families ahead of Christmas.
In addition, Councillor Stockan appealed for families who may be eligible for free school meals in Orkney to come forward to check to see if they qualify.
“I would urge people to please check to see if you qualify – more people are entitled to this – this is our chance as a Council to do something additional to help individuals.”
The Scottish Government COVID Hardship Payment of £100 per eligible child was announced as part of the First Minister’s Winter Plan for Social Protection.
No application for the payment is required if children are already in receipt of free school meals due to low income.
Children and young people who register for free school meals after 30 November and before the end of school term who are found to be eligible should receive a payment no later than the second week in January.
Cash payments will be made wherever possible. The additional payments will have no impact on benefits already paid.