We help musicians from a wide range of backgrounds and all musical genres. It’s vital that we use our resources to help those with the greatest need and we have set out some of the main criteria below.
We can help you if you are one or more of the following:
- A working professional musician (by which we mean a performer, composer/creator).
- Retired and your principal career was in music.
- Directly involved in a profession that requires a high level of musical skill (i.e. music mastering and music therapy would qualify in this regard).
- In some circumstances we can help if you are a dependant or partner of a musician
As well as being in one of the four categories above, you will need to:
- Show us you are in need of financial help (see below for further details)
- Adhere to the UK government position on residency as decided here.
What we mean by ‘professional musician’
We know that musical careers have an uneven pattern and many musicians need to supplement their income from other types of work. For the purposes of financial help, we define a professional musician as:
Someone who has earned their living substantially from music for a significant proportion of their working life. We define ‘working life’ to be from the start of a career (i.e. the end of formal education, usually minimum age 18) to state pension age, or to the age at which a crisis occurs.
We sometimes offer limited help to musicians who don’t fully meet this definition but have made a significant contribution to music. However, we are not able to help amateur musicians or people whose paid musical work is clearly secondary to another career.
What we mean by ‘financial need’
We need to ensure our help goes to those who need it most. So, we will take into account your capital (savings) and income. When you apply for our help, we’ll ask to see evidence of your finances, such as bank statements. We will guide you through this process to make it as easy as possible for you.
We don’t normally give financial help to people with savings of more than £16,000. For older and retired musicians, the limit is slightly higher – £20,000 – because we recognise it’s harder to replace your savings once you’re no longer working.
We will ignore some savings in assessing this amount – for example if you are self-employed and have a reasonable amount set aside for your annual tax bill.
We don’t normally take into account the value of pension funds, your only or principal home (if you own it) or the musical instruments that are the tools of your trade.
When you apply, we take details of your income and expenditure to help us decide what help we can give. However, given that you are a musician, we recognise that what you earned last year, or before an accident/illness, is irrelevant in a crisis. If you can’t play or sing and therefore aren’t earning, we’ll consider helping you if the situation is causing you hardship.