Applications

When should I submit an application form?

No applications will be considered if received after 31 March of the EMA session eg for 2016/2017 - 31 March 2017.

Pupils aged 16 or over on or before 30 September 2016 of the EMA session are age-eligible to be considered for payment from the start of the new term in August, however, we must receive your application by 30 September 2016. Applications received after this date will be paid from the date of receipt.

Those aged 16 between 01 October 2016 and 28 February 2017 of the EMA session are eligible for payment from week ending 13 January, if application is received before 28 February 2017. Applications received after this date will be paid from the date of receipt. 

Please contact us for further information on applications made under the community/voluntary activity agreement scheme.


Does getting an Education Maintenance Allowance affect other benefits?

No, EMA will not affect the amount paid in household benefits. If you are an independent applicant and in receipt of benefit such as Income Support in your own right, you may be asked to declare your EMA income to DWP but it should not change the amount of benefit received. 


What happens if an application is incomplete?

All incomplete or unsupported applications will be returned to the applicant with a letter detailing what further information is required. 


What if I am unable to provide all the information required?

If a deadline is approaching, please submit your application even if incomplete. Your application can be registered and then returned as above. Alternatively, depending on the circumstances, a provisional award may be made if you or your parents/carers have been temporarily unable to supply details on which a final assessment can be made. This is dependent on the type of outstanding information and the reason for it being unavailable. Provisional awards are not available throughout the full EMA session.

Acceptance of a provisional award is on the clear understanding that entitlement remains to be finalised. Finalisation of an award may result in any overpayment being reclaimed by the authority. Delay to the submission of this information will result in the award being suspended and/or cancelled in full. 


Can applications be made from more than one child in the family?

Yes, if they qualify under the eligibility criteria. If you have more than one child in full-time education a higher income threshold may apply – please check the income threshold document for details.


What if my circumstances or personal details change?

An award may be re-assessed if your circumstances change eg through redundancy or separation etc. Please contact us for further information.

If you change your address or bank account you must complete the relevant paperwork and inform us immediately. You can download the Change of email or home address form (PDF, 123KB) or request one from your school office or activity agreements worker. Failure to do so could result in a delayed or missing payment.


What period does the application cover?

For school pupils, an EMA session ends in June and a new application will be needed should you return to school for a further year. S6 pupils cease eligibility at the end of their exam period, normally in May.  Young people applying under the community/voluntary activity agreement scheme will be subject to review once the new EMA session has opened, normally in June each year or before the 52 week threshold has been reached. A new application will normally be required at that time.


Payment

How is the Education Maintenance Allowance paid?

Payments are made direct into a bank account in the young person's name. If you don't have a bank account you will need to open one which accepts direct BACS payments.

Falkirk Council cannot pay to accounts which need a roll or reference number. Please check with your bank or building society if you're unsure.

Payments are made in arrears, normally fortnightly. Dates are detailed in the handbook (PDF, 145KB) 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 is not considered as a holiday for EMA purposes and payment can be still made for any such days, providing 100% attendance is met for the rest of that week. 


Does my performance at school affect my entitlement?

Yes, payment can be withheld without warning. If your attendance falls below 100% in any week, no payment will be made for that week unless all absence has been covered by a medical certificate or has been approved.

Lateness can also affect payments, as can progress and conduct - ie if conditions in the Learning Choices Agreement are not met – including submission of home or course work.


I am applying under the community/voluntary activity agreement scheme – when am I paid?

Confirmation of eligible payment dates will be provided to you 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, 145KB). We also regularly post payment dates, and any changes to those, on our EMA blog.


Moving on

Leaving School?

You will no longer receive weekly EMA payments from the date of your last full week of attendance. Your school should inform us of your leaving date and your record will be cancelled. S6 pupils are entitled to receive payment until the end of the exam period. Thereafter you have no timetabled classes and are therefore no longer eligible for payment.

Moving onto 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 usual 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 onto the community/voluntary Activity Agreement scheme?

You may be eligible to re-apply for EMA from Falkirk Council. Please check with your Advisor. 

Moving to Further Education in College?

You may be eligible to receive a bursary from the college, please contact the College direct for further information about student financial support.