Applications open for Phase Two of Help Musicians Financial Hardship Funding

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.

Deadline: Fund running from June to October 2020. Opening again in November 2020

Open Until:

Posted: 10/03/2022

At the outset of lockdown, Help Musicians launched phase one of its Financial Hardship Funding programme, offering grants of £500 to over 16,700 professional musicians.

Phase two launched in June and is providing monthly support from July to October to around 3,600 musicians. Arts Council funding will be used to support the launch of phase three in November.

When lockdown hit, tens of thousands of professional musicians immediately lost the ability to earn a living. Help Musicians responded quickly by offering immediate short-term financial relief to those in need. In four weeks, they provided one-off grants of £500 to nearly 16,700 musicians across the UK. 

They 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 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 2I 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 3I 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).


Find application forms and guidance here


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