When should I submit an application form?
The cut off for applications for the 2017/2018 session is 31 March 2018.
If you are aged 16 on or before 30th September 2017, in order to get payments from the start of term, we'll need to receive your application by 30 September 2017. If you don't apply until later, you'll only be paid from the date we receive your application.
If your 16th birthday is between 01 October 2017 and 28 February 2018, you can get payments from the start of term in January. We'll need to receive your application by 28 February 2018.
If we receive your application between 01 March 2018 and 31 March 2018, you'll only be paid from the date we receive your application.
If you are working under an Activity Agreement, this is different. Contact us for further information.
Does EMA affect my other benefits?
No, EMA doesn’t affect the amount paid in household benefits. If you are an independent student and you get state benefits such as Income Support, you may be asked to declare your EMA income to DWP, but it shouldn’t change the amount of benefit you get.
What happens if an application is incomplete?
If we need more information, we'll contact you. Sometimes we need more information before we can make a decision.
Your application form and guidance notes set out clearly what information we'll need to make a decision.
What if I am unable to provide all the information required?
You should submit your application even if you don't have all the information your form states you need. When we receive your form can make a difference to the date we can pay you from (ie you miss the 30 September or 28 February deadlines).
In some circumstances, we can make provisional awards. This depends on your household's circumstances.
We'll only make a provisional award for part of the year. You'll then need to supply the information we request, or else your EMA award will be cancelled, and you might have to pay back any EMA you've been paid.
Can I apply if there is another young person in my family who gets EMA?
Yes, if there is another young person in the household you may both be able to get EMA.
This will depend on your household circumstances. A higher income threshold applies where there is more than one young person in full time education.
Visit the EMA Scotland website for more information on the thresholds.
What if my circumstances or personal details change?
If your household circumstances change (eg you parent or guardian is made redundant, or their income drops) we may be able to assess your application based on your new circumstances.
Please contact us for more information if you need advice about this.
What if I change my address or my bank account?
If you change your address or bank account, you'll need to let us know.
Change forms are available in the forms section of the main EMA page.
What period does the application cover?
For school pupils, an EMA session ends in June. If you are in S5, you can be paid until the end of the summer term. If you are in S6, you can only be paid until the end of the exam period, which is usually in May.
If you are returning to school the following year, you’ll need to re-apply. You can usually apply for EMA from June.
How is the Education Maintenance Allowance paid?
EMA is usually paid directly into your bank account. If you don't have a bank account, you'll need to open one which can accept BACS payments. We won't usually pay to someone else's account.
We can't pay to accounts which need a roll or reference number (ie building society accounts). Please check with your bank or building society if you are not sure if your account needs this.
Payments are made in arrears, normally fortnightly. Dates are detailed in the handbook (PDF, 125KB) and the Falkirk EMA blog.
I attend school - will I be paid for school holidays?
No, you will only be paid for weeks in attendance at school. In-service days are not considered holidays for EMA purposes, and payment can be still made as long as your attendance is 100% for the rest of that week.
Does my performance at school affect my entitlement?
Your school decides if your EMA will be paid for each week. If your attendance isn't satisfactory, no payment will be made for that week unless your absence has been covered by a medical certificate or has been approved by your school.
Lateness can also affect payments, as can progress and conduct - ie if you don't meet the conditions you agree to in your Learning Choices Agreement – including submission of home or course work.
I am applying under the community/voluntary activity agreement scheme – when am I paid?
We'll confirm payment dates once your entitlement is confirmed.
When am I paid?
Payments are made fortnightly in arrears. There may be occasional breaks in these payments over holiday periods.
The timetable can be found in the handbook (PDF, 125KB). We also regularly post payment dates, and any changes to those, on our EMA blog.
You'll no longer receive weekly EMA payments from the date of your last full week of attendance.
Your school will inform us of your leaving date, and your record will be cancelled. If you are in S6, you'll only be paid until the end of the exam period.
Moving on to Higher Education?
Other forms of financial support may be available for Higher Education at University or College.
Further information is available from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland if your home address is in Scotland.
Student Finance Direct may also be of interest if you intend to study or have your usual home address in England.
Moving on to the community/voluntary Activity Agreement scheme?
You may be eligible to re-apply for EMA. Please check with your Advisor.
Moving to Further Education in College?
You may be eligible to receive a bursary from the college. Contact them directly for further information about financial support.