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Crisis and community care grants

Who qualifies and how to apply

You must be 16 or over and on a low income to apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund and normally be entitled to one of the following benefits (although this is not essential):

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit)

The severity of your situation and the likely impact on you and your family will be the key test that will determine if 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.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you should apply for a short-term benefit advance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). This must be done within 21 days of your Universal Credit claim date.

Who won’t qualify

You won’t qualify for a grant if you:

  • have made a claim for a DWP benefit and it is delayed. If this happens you can apply for a short-term benefit advance from the DWP
  • you have already received 3 crisis grants in the last 12 months. Only in exceptional circumstances will we 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 can check your eligibility for either of these grants and apply online by selecting the relevant button below. Advisors applying on behalf of a client or for those who find it difficult to do themselves, you can also use these buttons.

Timescale for response

We aim to respond to your application within the timescales below. Please note that this may take longer if we have received lots of applications and if you haven’t provided all the information and evidence we’ve asked for.

  • 2 working days for crisis grants
  • 15 working days for community care grants

You do not need to contact us during the response timescales above. We will contact you on the contact methods you have provided as soon as a decision has been made.  

It is important that you provide all required information and the reason for the application. This will allow us to assess your claim as soon as possible.

You will be asked to upload evidence on the application form. We can accept jpegs and pdf files but we advise pdfs as the file size is smaller.

Please don’t take photos of your PC screen or phone screen as these can be blurry. If you need to do this you should use the screenshot/print screen function on your PC or phone.

When you take a photo of a document such as a bank statement sometimes the file sizes are too big, especially if you have to upload a lot of different images to your form. This can cause the form to fail and we advise converting jpegs to pdfs. You can do this in the following ways.

On an Android phone

  • select image you want
  • from the menu select print image
  • select Save as pdf
  • choose where to save it
  • save

On an iPhone

  • select the image you want
  • tap the sharing button and select Print
  • at the Printer options screen, use a spreading gesture with your fingers on the image preview to show Save as pdf
  • select Share the converted photo as PDF and choose where to save it  

On a PC

  • right click on the icon of the image
  • select Convert to Adobe pdf
  • click on the Save file icon in the top left hand corner
  • select where to save it
  • name it
  • save

For more information see the Scottish Government website.

Information sharing

We will share information with other organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Social Work Resources when considering your application.

Related content

  1. Crisis and community care grants
  2. Who qualifies and how to apply
  3. Request a review

Scottish Welfare Fund


PO Box 3594,
G73 9EG
Phone: 0800 952 0448