What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?
From April 2013, changes to the Social Fund scheme meant that Crisis Loans for Living Expenses and Community Care Grants stopped. In their place the Scottish Welfare Fund is being delivered by 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.
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. This was updated in April 2014. Unsure if the Scottish Welfare Fund can help you? Why not read our myth-busting information sheet.
How to apply
Find details of your council.
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 in September 2013, and you can find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund Bill.
In partnership with COSLA, we set up a reference group to support the Scottish Government and COSLA to achieve a successful transition to permanent arrangements for the Scottish Welfare Fund by Spring 2015.