Myth Busting - Questions and Answers about the Scottish Welfare Fund
Unsure if the Scottish Welfare Fund can help you? Why not read our myth busting information sheet .
We have made some changes to the Guidance for the Scottish Welfare Fund. These changes were made for two reasons:
to include arrangements for Universal Credit (UC) as a qualifying benefit, and
to reflect lessons learned since the Fund was implemented and give clarification where needed.
The new Guidance is valid from October 2013.
What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?
From 1 April 2013, changes to the Social Fund scheme meant that Crisis Loans for Living Expenses and Community Care Grants stopped. In their place is a new scheme called the Scottish Welfare Fund. It is being delivered by local Councils and provides two 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.
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.
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.
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.
As with the Crisis Grant, if you qualify for a Community Care Grant the help you receive will depend on your circumstances. You may be given money or you may receive support another way. For example, a voucher, fuel card, travel ticket or furniture.
There are items for which an award from the Scottish Welfare Fund cannot be made. You can find a list of these excluded items here.
Summary of the Scheme
For further information you may find the summary of the scheme helpful.
You can find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund from the guidance on the scheme.
We are now working on the permanent arrangements for the scheme. We intend to put the scheme on a legal footing by introducing the Scottish Welfare Fund Bill. This Bill is included as part of the Scottish Government's Programme for Government that was announced in the Scottish Parliament on 3 September 2013, and you can find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund Bill from our webpages.
Working in partnership with COSLA, we set-up a Reference Group. The aim of the Group is to support the Scottish Government and COSLA to achieve a successful transition to permanent arrangements for the Scottish Welfare Fund by Spring 2015. The first meeting of the Reference Group took place on 27 June 2013.