Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grant and Community Care Grant

Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) pays out Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants to people on low incomes who are in crisis or need support to live independently. There are two types of grants available.

Crisis Grants

These aim to help people on a low income who are in crisis due to a disaster (such as a fire or a flood) or an emergency (such as where money has been lost or an unexpected expense has arisen) and can provide occasional assistance to people where there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of that person or their family.

These grants are discretionary and the decision to award a grant is based on the priority level of your application and the amount of money left in the SWF annual budget. Therefore, even if you’re eligible for a grant, other factors may mean that you are not awarded one. If you are awarded a Crisis Grant you do not have to pay it back.

In the case of an emergency, only living expenses may be awarded, and in the case of a disaster, both living expenses and household goods may be awarded.

Examples of emergencies and disasters may include:

  • your money has been lost or stolen, leaving you with no means of paying for living expenses.
  • there’s been a relationship breakdown in your family, perhaps involving domestic abuse.
  • you have nowhere to stay and might have to sleep rough.

Examples of disasters include:

  • a serious flood, fire or gas explosion which has caused serious damage to your property.

Community Care Grants

A Community Care Grant, which is usually in the form of goods or services, can be provided to help qualifying people who need help in order to establish or maintain a settled home. Community Care Grants are discretionary which means even if you qualify, you may only be awarded a grant if your application meets the priority level set in East Lothian and there is money left in the SWF annual budget.

You don’t have to pay back a Community Care Grant.

You can receive support if you:

  • are leaving accommodation in which you received significant and substantial care and are establishing yourself in the local community
  • need help to stay in the community, rather than enter accommodation to receive care
  • are homeless or living an unsettled way of life or are vulnerable and need support to sustain your tenancy
  • or someone in your household, is facing exceptional pressure such as a breakdown in relationships
  • have been released from prison or a young offenders’ institute on temporary release

To be eligible for a Community Care Grant you must have savings of less than £700 (£1200 if you are pension age).

To apply for a SWF grant you must be over 16 and normally have a low income, for example, be in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Apply for a Crisis Grant or Community Care Grant online.

If you prefer, you can phone 01620 828 790. Please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.