Education Maintenance Allowance

EMA is an allowance of £30 per week, depending on household income. Household income is assessed in the same way as for Tax Credits provided by HM Revenue & Customs. Students on HYPE agreements or estranged from parents or in care of the authority can also be paid.

Get your Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

You could get a weekly allowance of £30 per week if you:

  • attend a school in the West Lothian Council area, or
  • you are on an Activity Agreement (HYPE)

College students should contact their college directly to apply for EMA.

Academic Year 2020/2021

To apply for Education Maintenance Allowance, you'll need to complete both the application form and a learning agreement.

The application form can be completed by either the student or their parent/guardian, and includes an eligibility checker at the start.

Check Eligibility and Apply

Once you've submitted your application, you also need to complete a learning agreement. This should be completed by the student, and is an agreement between the student and the school.

Complete your Learning Agreement


Academic Year 2019/2020

Please note that all students in secondary education will receive payment automatically whilst schools are closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The financial thresholds are:

  • £24,421 if the EMA applicant is the only dependent in the household,
  • £26,884 if there is more than one dependent in the household

(Dependent children are those up to the age of 16 and those between the age of 16 and 25 in full time further or higher education)

Applications and pre-paid envelopes are now available at all secondary schools. A student must be born between 01 March 2000 and 29 February 2004 to be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance from this authority.

Students born between 01 March 2000 and 30 September 2003 can start payment from week beginning 19 August 2019.  The form must arrive at the Civic Centre by 30 September 2019.

Students born between 01 October 2003 and 29 February 2004 may start payment from 06 January 2020.  The form must arrive at the Civic Centre by 29 February 2020.

Any application form that does not arrive at the Civic Centre by these deadlines can only be paid from the week in which the application is received. The closing date for school application forms is 31 March 2020. Absolutely no application will be accepted after this date.

You will see the payment schedule for school students in related documents, but here is the schedule for those on Activity Agreements Icon for pdf EMA Schedule of Payments 2019-2020 - Activity Agreements [19.44KB]