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Sources of Financial Support

Information on financial assistance in times of hardship and guidance on Government benefits for musicians.

Last updated: 19 October 2021

The Government's Self Employed Income Support Scheme should offer financial relief to some musicians, and you can read the full details here

You may also find the alternative sources of financial relief listed below useful.

Hardship funds

The following funds have been designed to provide emergency financial relief to musicians struggling due to the affects of the coronavirus outbreak. In all cases, these funds are limited and you are encouraged to only apply if you are in dire need.

Please note that any hardship grants received will be counted as taxable income by HMRC.

ACE funding application advice service

The MU is offering support for members who are applying for ACE Project Grants or to the ACE’s DYCP fund. Once you have finished drafting your application form, you can send it to us in order that an independent funding advisor can check it prior to you submitting it – email your draft to

You may also find the two guides we commissioned from Jess Partridge useful, “A Guide to the ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ Fund,” and “A Guide to Applying for an ACE Project Grant.” Plus, members can catch up with our recent webinar on funding applications, full of tips and advice to make your application a success.

Sources of financial assistance

The following resources may be able to offer advice and other assistance, as well as direct monetary contributions.

  • Help Musicians – Help Musicians is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.
  • The Royal Society of Musicians – All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors.
  • PRS Members’ Fund – This fund offers members of PRS for Music financial support and advice in times of need.

Accessing benefits

In the immediate term, if you are struggling financially, you may wish to see if you are entitled to any other benefits by visiting Citizens Advice's Coronavirus webpages which contain a lot of helpful information for what support there is for people who have been affected by COVID-19. You can find them here.

Support for those self-isolating

In some areas in the UK you may be able to claim financial support if self-isolating due to testing positive for coronavirus, or being in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This may include a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

To find out if you are eligible, or what other financial support is available, you should visit your local authorities website.

Government schemes which may be applicable

Receiving sick pay or Universal Credit will not affect your eligibility for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme could be applicable to self-employed workers who run their own businesses. Government are offering to act as a guarantor for loan applications, allowing a 'no' credit decision for a lender to become a 'yes'.

For more detailed information see British Business Bank's explanatory document.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Musicians running their own businesses and paying themselves a PAYE salary will likely qualify to claim under this scheme, by putting themselves on furlough.

However, the only earnings that will be counted in calculating this payment are those paid through PAYE.

For more detail information see the UK Government website, or see detailed FAQs on the scheme from Thompsons Solicitors.

Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. For further details see our Government Support for Musicians page.

Further Government support for the music industry

We will continue to lobby for the best deal for musicians, throughout the coronavirus outbreak and beyond – calling on the Government to Invest in Musicians.

Find out how you can take action now on our Invest in Musicians campaign hub.

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