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Crisis and Community Care Grants

 The Scottish Welfare Fund is delivered by Local Councils across Scotland and replaced the discretionary Social Fund provided by the Department of Works and Pensions on 1st April 2013.

The Scottish Welfare Fund offers 2 types of grants. They are intended to meet one-off needs and not to meet on-going expenses. They do not have to be paid back.

  • Crisis Grants can help if you need money quickly because of an emergency or disaster, particularly if there is a threat to your health and  safety. Applications can be made for living expenses and essential items such as food, heating costs, nappies, toiletries and travel. Award decisions will be made immediately after the Council has received all the information allowing a decision to be made, and in any event, no later than the end of the next working day. If successful, you will likely receive cash or a cash equivalent. 
  • Community Care Grants are provided where a qualifying individual needs help to establish or maintain a settled home. They may also be provided to support families facing exceptional pressure. A qualifying individual can be defined as those in prison, hospital, a residential care establishment or other institution; or homeless or otherwise living an unsettled way of life. Applications can be made for essential items such as furniture, carpets and  household goods. Award decisions will be made within 15 working days and if successful, goods will be provided by our Supplier. Cash grants will not be issued.

The Scottish Welfare Fund is limited to the amount of money that is available to councils every year, therefore awards may be restricted.

Who can apply?

Grants are available to anyone aged 16 or over and applicants should normally have a low income, for example, be in receipt of a benefit such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Pension Credit. 

However, applicants DO NOT have to be in receipt of a benefit to receive a grant. Anyone who has a low income, or does not have access to their money, can apply.

The Scottish Welfare Fund is a discretionary scheme, so a grant will be based on the Council's assessment of your circumstances. If you think you are eligible please contact the team to discuss.

A Community Care Grant will not be considered if you, or your partner, have savings over 700 (1200 if above State Pension Credit age.)

How can I apply?

Applications for the Scottish Welfare Fund can be made over the telephone, in person using self-service facilities, paper application or online. Please note that the busiest time to contact us is between 11am to 3pm and especially during lunch time so you may wish to contact us outwith these times to avoid waiting.

Crisis Grants and Community Care Grant Application Line -

  • 0800 03 04 713 - Monday to Friday  8am to 6pm

 

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 further information.

What should I do if I disagree with the decision made on my claim ?

If you are unhappy with our decision, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a First tier Review.

Applications for review should:

  • be made in writing within 20 working days of our original decision, though the  local authority may use its discretion to allow later applications, for example, when illness has prevented an application being made 
  • be made in writing and be signed by the applicant, unless the local authority considers there are exceptional circumstances, for example, disability, health issues or problems with literacy
  • contain the reason for requesting a review, a reference number or date of decision and any other additional information to support the case

Reviews of Crisis Grant applications should be carried out as soon as possible, recognising the circumstances of the applicant. The maximum processing time allowed for in the Regulations, for a first tier review of a Crisis Grant application, is no later than the end of the second working day after that on which the request was received. The Regulations provide that the maximum processing time for a first tier review of a Community Care Grant application should be no later than the end of the fifteenth working day after that on which the request was received. 

The review will be dealt with by a different decision maker, not involved in the original decision making process.

Applications for Review should be sent to Scottish Welfare Fund Team, Business Hub 16, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

What should I do if I disagree with the decision made on my First tier Review ?

If you are unhappy with our decision, you have the right to ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for an independent review. The SPSO are not part of the council.

You should ask the SPSO for an independent review within one month of receiving our decision. In some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review after this. You should contact the SPSO for advice.

You can ask the SPSO for an independent review over the phone or in writing. If you prefer, they will send you a form in the post, or you can print it off their website or fill it in online.

How to contact the SPSO:

  • By phone on 0800 014 7299. Calls are free to this number, even from mobiles.
  • Write to this address :FREEPOST SPSO. You don't need to use a stamp.
  • Website www.spso.org.uk/scottishwelfarefund

The SPSO can give you information in other languages or formats (such as large print, SMS audio or Braille). In some cases, the SPSO may be able to meet you in person.

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