The Scottish Welfare Fund is a national scheme provided under The Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015 and delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all 32 local authorities. Councils have extensive discretion over how the scheme is provided in their local area.
The Welfare Fund is there to provide a safety net to vulnerable people on low incomes through the provision of Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.
The Fund is normally a one-off grant for living expenses or household goods. It is limited to the amount of money that is made available to the council every year, therefore payments may be restricted. The council regularly reviews the priority levels which we are able to support and these may be set differently for Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants. We will always support a high priority crisis grant application made at any time throughout the year.
We can only support someone who is resident or about to become resident in our local authority area, or someone who is homeless within our area. If you don’t live within our area, we will refer you to your home local authority.
Crisis Grants can be awarded in a crisis to meet expenses that have arisen as a result of an emergency or disaster in order to avoid an immediate threat to health or safety of you or your family.
- In the case of an emergency, applications can be made for short-term living expenses.
- In the case of a disaster, applications can be made for living expenses or household items.
Living expenses are essential items such as food, heating costs, nappies, toiletries, travel and temporary accommodation costs.
Community Care Grants
Community Care Grants are provided to help a qualifying individual to establish or maintain a settled home. They can also be used to support families facing exceptional pressure.
A qualifying individual is someone who, without assistance may be in prison, hospital, a residential care establishment or other institution; or homeless or otherwise living an unsettled life. These grants can be provided for the following reasons:
- to enable qualifying individuals who are leaving care or imprisonment to establish or maintain a settled home, where without a grant there is a risk that the individual will not be able to do so;
- to enable qualifying individuals to establish or maintain a settled home after being homeless, or otherwise living an unsettled way of life;
- to enable qualifying individuals to maintain a settled home, where without a grant there is a risk of the individual needing to go into a care institution;
- to enable qualifying individuals to maintain a settled home in a situation where that individual, or another individual in the same household, is facing exceptional pressure;
- to assist a person to care for a qualifying individual who has been released from prison or a young offenders’ institution on temporary release.
Applications can be made for essential items such as furniture, household equipment, travel costs, removal expenses, storage charges, connection charges for gas and electricity.