From 1st April 2013 the Department for Works and Pensions abolished the discretionary Social Fund. This included Community Care Grants and Crisis loans for living expenses. This has been replaced by the Scottish Welfare Fund which was introduced by Scottish Government from that date.
The Scottish Welfare Fund is a national scheme being run by local authorities, based on Guidance from Scottish Ministers (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and Legislation (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
The objectives of the new scheme are to:
- provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency, when there is an immediate threat to health or safety
- enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care
There are two types of grants in the Scottish Welfare Fund :
- Crisis Grants – Aims to help people, typically on benefits, who are in crisis because of a disaster or an emergency
- Community Care Grants – Aims to help people on benefits who may have to go into care unless they get some support to stay at home. Or, if they are leaving any form of care and need help to set-up their own home. A Community Care Grant can also help families facing exceptional pressures
The only pre-requisite is being 16 or over. Applicants should normally be entitled to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Savings Pension Credit, Guaranteed Pension Credit, or payment on account of one of them in order to be eligible for a Scottish Welfare Fund payment, but it is not essential The key test of eligibility for a Crisis Grant is the severity of the applicant’s situation and the likely impact on them and their family. The key test of eligibility for a Community Care Grant is retaining or establishing a settled way of life in the community.
Local authorities have the discretion to provide support in different ways. Not all grants will be cash payments. We may provide vouchers, a fuel card, or furniture if we think that is the best way to meet the need.
To make an application please complete the application below
For further information or if you are unable to complete the form then please contact 01851 822642
If you are unhappy with a decision you have received then please call us on 01851 822642 and we will go through the decision with you. You can also ask us to review the decision. You can ask for a review without calling us to go through the decision first.
If you would like to request a review, write to the Revenues and Benefits Manager. Make sure that you do this within one month from the date on the top of the decision letter. This is called a First Tier Review.
Your request should be in writing by email or in a letter and should give:
- the date and reference number from the letter.
- the reasons why you do not think the right decision was made on the application. For example, this might be because you do not think we took all the relevant information in to account, because you do not agree with the award that has been made or because you don’t agree that you are not eligible for the Scottish Welfare Fund.
- information which you did not give us when you filled in your application but which you think might make a difference to our decision. Please phone us to find out more about this if you are not sure.
- information on any changes to your circumstances since the application which might make a difference to our decision.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the First Tier Review then you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for an independent review. You should do this within one month of the first tier review decision. Their role is to ensure that any decisions taken by the Revenues and Benefits team are correct, fair and reasonable and to ensure that the guidance for the fund is being followed.
You can contact the SPSO:
- by phone on 0800 014 7299. Calls are free to this number, even from mobiles
- Write to this address: FREEPOST SPSO. You don’t need to use a stamp
- Website: https://www.spso.org.uk/scottishwelfarefund/