Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund is available to assist people on a low income who are having difficulty because of an exceptional situation or in meeting a one-off expense.

There are two types of grant available.

Crisis Grant

A Crisis Grant can be awarded in a 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 and safety of an applicant or their family.

Applications can be made for living expenses or for essential items following a disaster.

Awards may be in cash or in kind. Some examples of living expenses are food, essential heating costs, nappies, toiletries, travel costs and costs for accommodation in a hostel.

A Crisis Grant may not be awarded if the applicant can access other resources to tide them over the crisis.

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.

Community Care Grant

A Community Care Grant can support independent living, preventing the need for institutional care.

Applications can be made for essential items such as furniture, household equipment, travel costs, removal expenses, storage charges, connection charges for gas and electricity. 

A Community Care Grant may not be awarded if the applicant (or their partner) has savings of over £700 if they are below pension age, or £1,200 if above pension age.

The amount of money available to councils through the Scottish Welfare Fund is limited every year, therefore payments may be restricted.

The key test of eligibility for a Community Care Grant is retaining or establishing a settled way of life in the community.

Who can apply?

You should be 16 or over. Applicants should normally have a low income and be entitled to one of the following but this is not essential:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Savings Pension Credit
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • Payment on account of one of above
  • or have no means of support

However applicants do not have to be in receipt of a benefit to receive a grant. Anyone who has a low income or does not have access to their money can apply.

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