Advice relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

PAGE UPDATED: November 2020

Help Musicians' Coronavirus Financial Hardship Funding Phase 3 – providing financial support to professional musicians who fall through the gaps of government support or are unable to make ends meet 

Help Musicians is a charity that has been supporting professional musicians for nearly 100 years. In this incredibly difficult year, we have been doing all we can to support the thousands of musicians who are falling through the gaps in government support and are really struggling to survive. 

Phase 3 of our Financial Hardship Funding is targeted at self-employed musicians who do not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and unemployed professional musicians who are unable to make ends meet. 

For those who are eligible, and to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments from the time their application is successful to March 2021 to top-up Universal Credit payments where relevant. Where an applicant does not qualify for Universal Credit but is still experiencing significant financial hardship, an assessment will be made based on individual circumstances. 

Please note: In order to qualify for Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Funding you must be a self-employed or currently unemployed professional musician – to qualify as a professional musician you must usually earn 50% or more of your income from actively performing music, creating music or undertaking a role that requires a high level of musical skill. This fund cannot directly replace lost earnings. Please ensure you read the guide notes for full eligibility details. 

Please read our FAQs here before starting an application.


How to apply 

Please review the three application routes below and apply according to your circumstances. 

  • Route 1: I am receiving or applying for Universal Credit 

This route is for professional musicians who are receiving, or have applied, to Universal Credit and are still struggling to make ends meet. Eligible applicants will receive a monthly top-up payment from the time their application is successful to March 2021. The amount offered will be dependent on individual circumstances. 

To begin your application, please read these guide notes to ensure you are eligible and understand the process. Once you have read the guide notes, you can access the application form here. 


  • Route 2: I am not eligible for Universal Credit but am experiencing significant financial hardship and struggling to make ends meet 

This route is for professional musicians who are not eligible for Universal Credit but are struggling to make ends meet. Eligible applicants will receive a monthly top-up payment from the time their application is successful to March 2021. The amount offered will be dependent on individual circumstances. 

To begin your application, please read these guide notes to ensure you are eligible and understand the process. Once you have read the guide notes, you can access the application form here. 


  • Route 3: I have complex needs that go beyond financial hardship and would like to speak with a caseworker 

If you have complex needs that go beyond financial hardship and would like to speak with a caseworker, please apply directly to Health and Welfare team. Complex needs may include long-term health issues, complicated domestic circumstances or complex financial situations. 

Contact our Health & Welfare Team - help@helpmusicians.org.uk 

Access enquiries and contacts 

If you require support to fill in your application due to sensory impairment, physical or cognitive disability or a long-term health condition, please contact the Health and Welfare team or email Hardshipfund@helpmusicians.org.uk with the title access enquiry.  

If you have queries that cannot be answered by the guidance notes or the FAQs please can you email hardshipfund@helpmusicians.org.uk with the title application enquiry. 

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of enquires at the moment, if your question can be answered in the guidance notes above or FAQs, you will not receive a response.  

 

Further support 

Government updates are available here, while NHS advice is available here. 

The website coronamusicians.info is regularly updated with information for musicians in response to the outbreak. The site has information on the latest government advice, where musicians can access financial, legal and health support, grants for creative activity and signposting to essential services. 

The Musicians’ Union have a website page dedicated to information on coronavirus here, and ISM has a page here. 

Help Musicians runs a support line called Music Minds Matter available any time of day or night for a listening ear; it doesn’t have to be a crisis. We have trained advisors that are here to listen, support and help at any time. Through calling, eligible musicians can access free face-to-face or telephone counselling, or online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). You can email: MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk or call 0808 802 8008 (24hrs free support line).

Advice on debt management 

You can access debt advice and support through StepChange on: 0800 138 1111 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm.

If you require advice about business related debts you can call the Business Debt Line on: 0800 197 6026 Monday to Friday: 9am - 8pm.

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