Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund is a Fund that is operated by each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

There are two types of applications you can make to the Scottish Welfare Fund. These are for:

You can apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund if you are at least 16 years old and have a low income or are in receipt of certain Social Security Benefits.

You cannot apply to the Scottish Government to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund, you must apply to your Local Authority.

Crisis Grants

Crisis Grants are one off payments, made by Local Authorities when you are suffering a crisis. The purpose of the Grant is to give you emergency support that will tide you over until you get paid again or any problems you have with your benefits can be resolved.

Crisis Grants are not for replaving large items that get broke, such as washing machines or cookers, but for day to day emergency support costs to allow you to buy food or pay for heating.

You cannot apply for a Crisis Grant to pay off debt, with one exception, and that is when you have a gas or electricity arrears and you may need to pay off some debt so you can reconnect your energy supply.

An example may be when you have used up all your emergency support on a prepayment meter and this has to be paid, so you can get gas and electricity again.

What is a Crisis?

Crises can arise for a variety of different reasons. Examples are:

  • You have lost or had money stolen;
  • You have an unexpected cost, such as a washing machine or cooker has broken down and this has left you without money for other essentials;
  • You have had a fire or flood at home;
    You are the victim of domestic abuse and you have had to flee your home;
    A change at work or redundancy has left you without sufficient money, including if your employer has failed to pay you;
    You are a grandparent or other relative who has taken over the care of a child and your area waiting for Social Security Payment to begin being paid.

This is not an exhaustive list.  Crises can, therefore, arise for a variety of reasons and the examples above are just illustrative of what may count as a Crisis.

How do you Apply for a Crisis Grant?

To apply for a Crisis Grant, you apply to your Local Authority (see above). Most Council’s will prefer you apply online, but if you cannot do this they may accept an application in writing, by email or by calling.

Although Crisis Grant are one off payments, you can usually apply more than once, but most Local Authorities will limit the number of applications that can be applied for in any given period.

You do not need to be in receipt of any Social Security benefits to apply for a Crisis Grant, although  you may need to provide evidence such as a bank statement to demonstrate you have no money; or if you have said money has been stolen, you may need to provide evidence you have reported it to Police.

Most applications will be considered and decided within 2 working days, but some may take longer due to the volume of applications a Local Authority is dealing with.

Unhappy with the Decision?

If you are unhappy with the decision as to whether or not to grant you a Crisis Grant, then you can seek a review of the decision. Your local authority should have information about how you do this on their website or you should be told how you can do this in any written decision you review. Councils should aim to review a decision within 2 working-days. 

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any Review you can request the Scottish Public  Service Ombudsman considers the decision.

Community Care Grants

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