Help Musicians’ second wave of financial hardship support will help those ineligible for government emergency safety nets or unable to survive on what they receive.
Following the announcement last week, applications are now open for our Financial Hardship Funding Phase 2.
When lockdown hit, tens of thousands of professional musicians immediately lost the ability to earn a living. We responded quickly by offering immediate short-term financial relief to those in need. In just four weeks, we were able to provide one-off grants of £500 to nearly 16,700 musicians across the UK. We invested £5m of our own reserves in this first phase and were delighted to receive donations of a further £3.35m.
We open phase 2 with a total of £2.55m, made up of £2m from the charity’s reserves, plus generous donations of £500k from music licensing company PPL and £50k from the Lightbody Foundation.
The vast majority of musicians are self-employed, and a recent survey carried out by the charity showed that 25% of these believed they would be ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Despite strong and sustained pressure from across the music industry, the government has not changed the terms of the scheme. In response, Help Musicians is now launching a second phase to provide financial support for those musicians who are left with nothing but Universal Credit, or who are struggling to survive on what little other income they receive.
For those who are eligible, to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments for the period 1 June to 31 October, 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.
Eligible musicians who are experiencing significant financial hardship can apply for support through three alternative routes, depending on their individual circumstances:
Route 1: I am accepted or applying for Universal Credit. Eligible applicants will receive a monthly top-up payment between June and October 2020. The amount offered will be dependent on individual circumstances.
Route 2: I am not eligible for Universal Credit but am experiencing significant financial hardship. Eligible applicants will receive a monthly payment between June and October 2020. The amount offered will be dependent on individual circumstances.
Route 3: I have complex needs that go beyond financial hardship and would like to speak with a caseworker. This may include accessing support through a pension or state benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).