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The Royal Society for the Support of Women of Scotland

Home | Who We Help and How | Application criteria


The Society invites applications for assistance from women who can show that they meet the following criteria...

  • Aged 50 years or over; 
  • Have been resident in Scotland for at least two years at the time of application;
  • Unmarried, widowed, divorced or formally separated;
  • Able to show evidence of personal achievement in their life; self support; consideration of others; voluntary or community work, or looking after family members who required care;
  • Have a “Gross Income” of less than £17,500 per annum , i.e. income from all sources except disability payments and after deduction of tax and National Insurance.
  • Have a "Qualifying Income" of less than £10,000 per annum, i.e. income from all sources including disability payments, reduced by deduction of tax and National Insurance, by net housing costs and  by any additional care costs.
  • Have savings / capital of £16,000 or less, excluding the value of their home. 
  • Not be  "co-habitant" in terms of Section 25 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, i.e. who are not living with a man as if they were "man and wife" or another woman as if "civil partners".

(Please see later section "How we assess..." for more details of how  "capital" and "income" are calculated.) 

The Society is experiencing  a considerable increase in applications for assistance and is currently at full capacity. Preference will be given to applicants on the lowest of incomes as vacancies arise, and while a waiting-list system is in operation, applicants with Qualifying Incomes over £10,000 per annum are unlikely to be successful in the short term. To avoid disappointment, the Society has reduced the application ceiling to £10,000 from 1st April 2019 and until further notice.

  Please note:

  • Applicants who are divorced are required to produce a copy of their divorce document. Applicants who are "separated" from their spouse or civil partner must provide a copy of a formal, signed, agreement or of a Court Decree.
  • The Society no longer accepts applications from women in nursing homes or long-term care.
  • Applicants who have debts which are significant in relation to their resources will be declined unless the debts are being reduced on an on-going and manageable basis.

Meeting these eligibility criteria does not by itself entitle an applicant to admission to the Society's Roll of Beneficiaries or the receipt of any grant. Admission to the Roll is at the sole discretion of the Society's trustees and so far as funds available for grants allow.