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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;
  • Are single - i.e. unmarried, widowed, divorced or formally separated AND not be "cohabiting" (i.e. not living with a someone as if they were married or in a civil partnership - as defined in Section 25 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006);
  • Have a "Qualifying Income" of no more than £13,500 per annum (but see note below), i.e. income from all sources including disability benefits and an assumed income from savings, but after net housing, council tax and an offset against disability benefits (ie DLA, PIP and Attendance Allowance) have been deducted;
  • Have total savings and capital of £16,000 or less - not including the value of their home;
  • 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.

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

The Society has experienced a considerable increase in applications for assistance and Trustees have agreed changes to the way the Society calculates "Qualifying Income" and a reduction in the upper limit to £12,400 which will come into effect in due course.  If you submit an application (or have already done so, but a decision has not yet been made on it), it may be that we apply this lower limit to your application.  If necessary, the Society prioritises applications with the basis of lower incomes and lower levels of savings and capital.

  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;
  • Income is calculated after any Tax and National Insurance deductions have been applied;
  • The Society no longer accepts applications from women in nursing homes or residential 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.