Scottish Welfare Fund
Crisis and community care grants
The Scottish Welfare Fund is there to help you if you are on benefits or a low income and are having difficulty because of an exceptional situation or in meeting a one-off expense. There are two types of grants:
- Crisis Grants can provide a safety net in the event of a disaster or emergency such as a fire or flood, or running out of food, which might be caused by a sudden loss of income
- Community Care Grants can help people leaving care to live on their own, or to remain in their own home without having to go into care. These grants can also help families facing exceptional pressures that are in need of essential household items, such as a cooker or a washing machine
If you are facing household difficulties or a crisis you may be eligible for a grant.
How can a Crisis Grant help you?
If you are facing a crisis at home such as a fire or flood, or emergency situation such as losing all your money or having to visit a sick child in hospital and don't have the money for transport, a Crisis Grant could help.
If you qualify for a Crisis Grant, you may be given a cash grant or another form of support such as travel vouchers, furniture or a voucher for essential food, fuel or clothing.
How can a Community Care Grant help you?
If you are about to leave care to live on your own in the community such as after being in care, hospital or prison, or face going into care because you don't have the things you need to continue living at home, a Community Care Grant could help.
A Community Care Grant may also be able to help if you are struggling to provide a safe and secure home for your family. For example, you might need help to get essential household items like a cooker or washing machine but don't have the money to buy them.
In making an award for a Community Care Grant, South Lanarkshire Council will award goods rather than cash, with the service including delivery and installation. Only in very rare situations where the Council cannot source a particular item will cash be considered.
The Council will carry out checks to verify that there is a need for the items applied for. These checks can include:
- obtaining information from other departments and agencies involved in representing customers and/or assisting them with their applications
- carrying out home visits prior to any award being made
How do you qualify?
You must be 16 or over to apply for assistance from the Scottish Welfare Fund and normally be entitled to one of the following benefits (although this is not essential):
- Income Support/Job Seekers (Income Based)
- Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)
- Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit)
The Scottish Welfare Fund is a discretionary scheme so a grant will be based on the Council's assessment of your circumstances.
The severity of your situation and the likely impact on you and your family will be the key test which will determine whether or not you qualify for a Crisis Grant.
Retaining or establishing a settled way of life in the community is the key test for qualifying for a Community Care Grant.
How to apply
To find out if you are eligible to apply for a Crisis or Community Care Grant, or to make an application, please phone the Scottish Welfare Fund. Advisors applying on behalf of a client or those who find it difficult to use the phone can use the online Scottish Welfare Fund form.
It is also possible to download and complete the application form and return it to us. You may also want to look at this form before applying by phone, to ensure you have the information you need to hand.
Information on what to do should you disagree with our decision can be found on the Scottish Welfare Fund Application - reviews/appeals page.
Other information relating to the fund is also available from the Scottish Government Website.
What about other welfare benefits?
The Department for Work and Pensions still deals with:
- Sure Start Maternity Grants
- Funeral Payments
- Cold Weather Payments
- Winter Fuel Payments
- Budgeting Loans
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
The Department for Work and Pensions will also continue to offer support if you are in financial need and have either:
- recently made a new claim to benefit (including Universal Credit) or
- are awaiting your first payment of benefit
- need an advance of benefit to help tide you over until the first payment of benefit is made.
This is a Short Term Benefit Advance or an advanced payment of Universal Credit. You need to demonstrate that you are likely to be entitled to benefit and that you will be able to repay the advance. This is usually within 12 weeks. You will also be required to show that you don't have any other source of financial help.
For more information please contact the Department for Work and Pensions or ask at your local benefits office.
The Council will share information with other organisations, including the Department for Work and Pensions and the Council's Social Work Department when considering your claim.
- Crisis and community care grants