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Cost of Living Grant Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the online form?

Yes, we have the quick link which will take you straight to the form.

What is the Cost of Living Grant Scheme?

Orkney Islands Council is making a one-off payment of £200 to households on a low income to help with the increased cost of living.

The grant award is limited to one payment per household.

What is the opening date for applications?

Wednesday 25 January

Who is eligible for the Cost of Living Grant Scheme?

If you receive any of the following benefits from the Council, you do not need to apply and we will arrange for your payment to be made automatically in February/March 2023:

You will be eligible for the scheme if you receive one of the following benefits but you will need to apply:


Your total household income is below the low income threshold and your savings are less than £6,000. This includes all of your household's income from any source, for example, wages, benefits, pensions, dividends etc. before tax, National Insurance or any other deductions.

What is the definition of monthly income?

This is the total gross monthly income for the property for all adults which includes wages, pension, benefits, dividends etc.

Can we check whether a customer has automatic eligibility?


How will the payment be made?

The Council prefers to make payment by BACS if bank details are known. If not known or for those who meet the automatic criteria, the customer will be contacted. Alternative arrangements will be made for any applicants who don’t have a bank account.

Why is a bank statement required?

A bank statement for the account that the grant will be paid into is required to enable the Council to verify addresses and bank details and to protect against fraud. We only need to see the address and bank details on your statement, no other information on your bank statement is required. A screen shot of your online bank account is also sufficient, providing that it clearly shows your address and bank details - name, address, sort code and bank account number.

Customers applying online will be required to upload their bank statement. Customers applying over the phone or in person will be required to provide a copy of their bank statement, preferably by email but, if this is not possible, they will need to take or post it in to one of our reception points, clearly marked.

What is the timescale for payment of the grant?

Up to 4 weeks but we will endeavour to pay them out asap.

For automatic grant awards, will customers be advised when the money has been paid?

Yes, they will get a remittance advice showing what the £200 is for by email (if known) or post.

What is the process for applicants without a bank account?

The customer should contact Customer Services on 873535 or 850907 (Stromness) and they will put the application on for them. The application will be assessed and, if successful, alternative arrangements will be made to make the payment.

What is the definition of a ‘child’? 

A child will be in full-time education or home educated and where the property is their main residence.

What about applicants whose monthly income varies?

Use the calculation period 01/01/2022 to 31/12/2022 – add up the yearly gross income and divide by 12 (for monthly or 52 for weekly).

What about properties where there are more than 2 adults living there?

If at least one person in the property gets a means tested benefit, they will qualify for the grant. If applying under household income, income for all adults would count. Remember that it is one grant per property.

What about applicants who are in receipt of PIP, DLA, Attendance Allowance or the new ADP (Adult Disability Payment) and CDP (Child Disability Payment)?

These benefits are not ‘means tested’ so are not included in the scheme. Applicants in receipt of these benefits would need to apply under the ‘low income’ threshold if applicable.

What about the self-employed?

It is up to the applicant to confirm and declare that they are below the threshold.

What about students sharing a property or houses in multiple occupation?

It would be just one payment per property.

What is the definition of care experienced young people?

The term 'care-experienced' refers to anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background at any stage in their life, no matter how short, including adopted children who were previously looked-after.

What is the definition of householders who are under 18?

A dwelling in which the only residents are under 18 years of age

How long will application process be open for?

Applications will be taken up to 30 April 2023

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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