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Scottish Welfare Fund

Scottish Welfare Fund

Due to the high volume of applications we are receiving we have taken on extra help to process applications.

To make an application to the Scottish Welfare Fund, please use the contact details below Monday to Friday 1pm-5pm:

Northgate will also be able to help applicants who are making telephone applications.

Please do not call or email for an update as we cannot provide additional information. We will contact you if we require further information and/or when a decision on your application has been made.

Crisis awards will be paid into your bank account at midnight on the day of the decision or, occasionally, at midnight on the next day. Please do not contact us to chase your payment.

We apologise for any frustration caused as we focus on processing the very high volume of applications received.

What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides 2 types of grant:

  • Crisis Grants providing you with a safety net in the event of a disaster or emergency
  • Community Care Grants helping you to leave care and live independently, or to continue living independently

Crisis Grants

A Crisis Grant may help if you are in crisis because of a disaster like a fire or flood, or an emergency such as being robbed or burgled. It may help with costs that have arisen as a result of the disaster or emergency, to keep you and your family safe from harm. Usually you will be on benefits before you can get a Crisis Grant.

Examples of Crisis Grant awards will include

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Essential heating costs
  • Essential travel

If you qualify for a Crisis Grant, the help you receive will depend on the particular difficulties you face. You may be given money or another form of support, for example, a voucher, fuel card, travel ticket or furniture.

Crisis Grants will not be awarded if the applicant can access other resources to tide them over the crisis.

You do not have to pay back an award Crisis Grant.

Community Care Grants

A Community Care Grant may help if you are about to leave care to live on your own in the community or face going into care because you don't have the support you need to continue living at home.

A Community Care Grant may also be able to help if you are a family facing exceptional pressures and need an essential item like a cooker or washing machine but don't have the money to buy it.

Usually you will be on benefits before you can get a Community Care Grant.

Examples of Community Care Grants will include

  • Beds and bedding
  • Essential furniture
  • White goods
  • Essential cooking utensils
  • Travel expenses to support independent living

As with the Crisis Grant, if you qualify for a Community Care Grant the help you receive will depend on your circumstances. You will normally receive support by way of vouchers, for example, a voucher, fuel card, travel ticket or furniture.

Community Care Grants will not be awarded if the applicant or their partner has savings

  • over £700 if they are below pension age, or
  • £1200 if the applicant is above pension age.

You do not have to pay back a Community Care Grant award.

Excluded items

There are items for which an award from the Scottish Welfare Fund cannot be made. You can view a list of these excluded items from this page.

Who can apply

Applicants should be aged 16 or over and normally be entitled to or getting one of the benefits listed below, however, it is not essential.

If you are not in receipt of one of the benefits outlined above you may still make a claim and we will consider your circumstances. You may still receive an award without being in receipt of the above benefits.

How we decide

The key test for a Crisis Grant is the severity of your situation and the likely impact of the grant on y ou and your family, if you have a family.

The key test for a Community Care Grant is whether or not the grant will help you in keeping or establishing a settled way of life in the community.

Each case is considered on its own merit. A limited amount of money is available to the many people who apply. We can only support those who need help the most.

We give highest priority to people who

  • are vulnerable due to old age, ill health or another reason
  • have an immediate need
  • face significant adverse consequences if the grant is not given.

Who won't qualify

You won't qualify for a grant if

  • you have made a claim for DWP benefits such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit and it is delayed, you can apply for a Short-term Advance instead
  • you have already received three crisis grants in the last 12 months, however in exceptional circumstances we may be able to consider a further one off payment
  • have already applied for the same item in the last 28 days unless your circumstances have changed
  • you are not considered to be of a low income or you or your partner have savings
  • you or your partner have savings
    • over £700 if you are below pension age, or
    • £1200 if you are above pension age.

How can I apply?

When you make an application to the Scottish Welfare Fund it is important that you provide as much information as you can about your situation as this will help us to make a quicker decision. Please state why you need this help and let us know what items or living expenses you need.

It is also important that you provide your contact details, particularly a telephone contact number, as we will use this to get in touch with you about your application.

We will require proof of your identity and your circumstances in order to process your application. For this we will check the information held on our records and we may contact other organisations in connection with your circumstances. We will contact you directly if we need any more information.

Access to the application process will be available using the online application form. If you do not have internet at home, you can use the computer facilities at any Community Access Point. You should take proof of your name and address.

Only in exceptional circumstances will applications be accepted by any other method.

Electronic application

You can apply online for the Scottish Welfare Fund using the link below:

You will initially be asked some questions to establish if you are eligible to claim a Scottish Welfare Fund grant. If you are eligible to claim, the electronic application will be displayed for you to complete with your details.

If at any point you click on the save and exit button you will be provided with a reference number so that you can return to the application and complete it at a later time.

Your application will not be sent to the Scottish Welfare Fund team until you have reached the final page and have clicked on the submit application button.

If you do not return to the application and submit within 28 days, your application will be withdrawn as we will assume that you no longer wish to proceed.

When will I know if my claim is successful?

We will contact you by phone and will also send you a letter to confirm our decision.

You will normally be notified of our decision within 2 working days for a crisis grant and within 15 working days for a community care grant.

These timescales start from the date we have received all the supporting information we need to assess your application.

Please note that this might not be the same date as the day your application was made, therefore it is important that you provide as much information as you can when completing your application.

Can I appeal against the decision?

There is no right of appeal, but you can ask for a review of the decision. Please refer to the Scottish Government's leaflet Challenging Scottish Welfare Fund Decisions

What other help and support is available locally?

For information on where to source additional help and support, please refer to our web page.

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Scottish Government information

For Further Information Contact

Revenue Services
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000 / 226246