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Scottish Welfare Fund

Find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund.

1. What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?

The Scottish Welfare Fund is made up of two types of grants which do not have to be repaid - Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

Crisis Grants

Crisis Grants are intended to provide a safety net in an emergency when there is an immediate threat to health and safety.

They can be awarded in case of crisis to meet expenses that have arisen as a result of an emergency or disaster in order to avoid serious damage or serious risk to the health or safety of the applicant or their family.

Community Care Grants

Community Care Grants are intended to enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care.

They can be awarded to help:

  • A person establish themselves in the community following a period of care where circumstances indicate that there is an identifiable risk of the person not being able to live independently without this support

  • An individual remain in the community rather than going into care where circumstances indicate that there is an identifiable risk of the person not being able to live independently without this assistance

  • Someone set up home in the community, as part of a planned resettlement programme, following an unsettled way of life

  • Families facing exceptional pressures and who lack the resources to meet irregular costs to provide a safe and secure environment for their children 

  • Somebody to care for a prisoner or young offender on release on temporary licence.

Applies to: Scotland

Age rules: You must be aged 16 or over

Type of benefit: Means-tested

Administered by: Local Authorities
 

2. Can I get help from the Scottish Welfare Fund?

You must be on a low income to get help from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Crisis Grants are linked to qualifying benefits (with an option for local discretion).

There is a fixed budget for each Local Authority so applications will be prioritised.
 

3. How much will I get from the Scottish Welfare Fund?

The Scottish Welfare Fund pays out grants or assistance in kind (cash, fuel cards, food vouchers, travel warrants, loaded store card for e.g. white goods/furniture). Local authorities will have discretion on the type of support offered.

Awards to families under “exceptional pressure” will be focused on providing a safe and secure environment for children.

There will be a more holistic approach linking to services which may build capacity, such as offering budgeting or other money advice, or encouraging saving.

The Scottish Welfare Fund and other benefits

A grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund does not affect any other benefits or tax credits.

4. How do I apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund?

You can apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund by contacting your Local Authority.

Applications may be made face to face, on the phone, via on-line applications or by downloading and posting a form, subject to the Local Authority’s ability to provide these options.
 

5. How do I challenge a Scottish Welfare Fund decision?

If you are refused a grant you can ask your Local Authority to review the decision.