We’re happy to help applicants or parent/carers/advisors with any aspect of EMA, including completion of the application form or general absence procedures. Unfortunately, we don’t always have access to facilities where we can speak to you confidentially and won’t usually be able to have a member of the team available at short notice. However, most general queries can usually be quickly answered by phone or found within the information on the EMA page of the main Falkirk Council website.
As mentioned in our previous post, deaf service users can now have any enquiries about Council services dealt with on the spot by a member of the Customer First Team thanks to the introduction of Sign Language Live. Customer First Team can help with your EMA by photocopying original documents as you wait and thereafter sending all through to us for assessment. They are also involved in the receipt and processing of Clothing Grant / Free School Meals applications. If Sign Language Live could be of help to you or your parents/carers, please see the main press release (click here) or speak to a member of Customer First Staff at any of the seven One Stop Shops. Falkirk Council can also provide communication services for deaf-blind people free of charge.
On the Falkirk Council website, our EMA page can be read aloud to you by using the Narration option on your PC or tablet’s operating system. Alternatively, BrowseAloud is a free downloadable software which reads webpages aloud for anyone who finds it difficult to read online. If this would be helpful, further info can be found on: http://www.browsealoud.com.
If English is not your first language and you’d like some help with translation, you may find the free Google Translate service of use – just click the icon towards the top right of this page and select your preferred language. This service can also be used for our EMA page on the Falkirk Council website in 4 easy steps:
- visit Google Translate (press your ”Ctrl” button & click here)
- select your language
- copy and paste the website address (URL) www.falkirk.gov.uk/ema
- click “translate”
If we can be of any other help, or if there’s additional support you’d like us to try and provide, please contact us.
The last payment run of this academic year is complete and should reach accounts on Friday 3rd July. This includes payment for attendance in weeks ended 19th & 26th June. Please note that should you have a query about payment/non-payment, you must query this with your school on the first week back – there will be one final payment released at the start of the August term for any authorised backdates and it will not be possible to make any further adjustments for this June term thereafter.
Young people continuing their Activity Agreement learning programme over the summer will continue to be considered for payment as normal, with payments generally continuing fortnightly. If you are continuing in your Activity Agreement programme and have received a new 15/15 application form, please ensure this is submitted as soon as possible to reduce any possibility of a break in payment as we move fully into the new session.
Applications are currently being assessed within 2-3 weeks. Original documents are being returned as soon as possible, usually within a week, but you may prefer to have these photocopied while you wait at any main One Stop Shop.
We will write to you if we need further information.
When your assessment is complete it will be moved forward for a final check and you should receive a notice of entitlement if successful, or a nil entitlement letter if unsuccessful, around a week later.
The next fortnightly payment run is complete and due to reach accounts on Friday 19 June. This includes payment for attendance in weeks ended 5th & 12th June. As usual, if you have a query about payment/non-payment please contact your schools/Activity Agreement worker in the first instance
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Our turn around time for return of documents is now around 5 working days plus postage time but is likely to extend very soon due to the high volume. If you need originals returned to you more quickly please take your application and supporting documents to any main One Stop Shop where they can be copied and certified while you wait.
Apologies for the delay; this week’s payment run is complete and should reach accounts tomorrow. This includes payment for weeks ended 22nd and 29th May and in many cases will be the final payment for S5 & S6 leavers.
As before, please contact your school or Activity Agreement workers in the first instance.
We’ve heard from a couple of parents that HMRC Tax Credits have asked for confirmation of EMA entitlement and/or payment awarded to their child. We are unaware of the reason for this request; EMA is awarded to the child, not the parent, with the payments made to the child’s bank account. EMA has no relation to DWP or Tax Credits and especially when those benefits are to the parent.
We understand requests so far may span a number of financial years and affect a number of Local Authorities. Scottish Government have contacted HMRC for clarification and will provide advice to Local Authorities in due course. We will also need to ensure the request complies with Data Protection rules.
Please note that until we receive this further guidance, we will not be able to respond to requests for such information – we do try to help wherever possible but must ensure we’re complying with Data Protection rules which are there to protect your information as our EMA applicant. We understand that EMA proof is only one of a number of options detailed on the HMRC letter; one alternative being a letter from the school confirming enrolment. If that is needed, please contact your school in the first instance.
Applications and guidance notes are now with our Secondary Schools, One Stop Shops and Registrars and will shortly be available to download from the main Falkirk Council EMA webpage . If you’d prefer to have one posted to you, please call 01324 590599 or complete the online application request form (;ink will be updated as soon as the webpage is active again).
If you are 16-19 on or before 30th September 2015, you have until 30th September to apply and still be eligible for payment backdated to the start of term. You may prefer to delay your application for now until you have all the relevant supporting documents; we’ll post a reminder of the September deadline here closer to the time.
If you’re 16 between 1st October ’15 and 29th February ’16, you’re still in compulsory education until Christmas and so can be paid for payment from January ’16 when you return to school for further education. Applications can be made now if you have all the relevant supporting information but you do have until 29th February to apply and still be considered for payment backdated to the start of the January term. Again, we’ll post a reminder of the deadline closer to the time.
We’re please to advise that the main supply of applications forms will be distributed to schools and One Stop Shops next week and the session will be open earlier as planned. Please note that if you are sending a Tax Credit Award Notice, it must be for 2015/16. If you wish us to use this to prove income as well as guardianship/other dependent children, it must also include the actual, not estimated income for 6 April 2014 – 5 April 2015 on the inside.
Applications from young people aged 16 or over on or before 30th September must be with us by 30th September to be considered for payment backdated to the start of term. You have plenty time to get together all relevant supporting documents before sending in.