Apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund

What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?

The Scottish Welfare Fund provide grants to help with one-off emergency costs. They do not cover ongoing expenses.

You do not need to pay the money back.

There are two kinds of grants.

  • Crisis grants - help meet immediate needs after an emergency or disaster. For example you can apply for things like food, heating costs, nappies, toiletries and travel.
  • Community care grants - help people to settle in a new home, when moving from an "unsettled way of life" (for example hospital, prison or a homeless accommodation unit). They can also support families who are facing exceptional pressure. For example you can apply for things like furniture or carpets.

Awards are made based on your situation. We only receive a limited amount of money from the Government each year, so we can only provide small awards. We normally cannot give you more than 3 awards in any 12 month period unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

Qualification criteria

You can apply for a grant if you:

  • are over 16 years old
  • have a low income or do not have access to your money

You can apply for a community care grant if you have savings of less than £700 (£1200 if you're over the age for pension credit).

How can I apply?

You can apply by calling the Scottish Welfare Fund application line:

Phone 0800 03 04 713 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) 

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.

You can apply online:

There are self-service telephone and computer facilities available at Marischal College, however, if assistance is required in order to complete an application, face to face support is also available.

We will ask you for proof of your identity and your circumstances. 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 if we need more information.

What can 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.

To ask for a review please write to us at the address below within 20 days of our original decision. Explain why you think the decision was wrong. The letter should be signed by the person who made the original claim.

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

Write to us at: Scottish Welfare Fund Team, Business Hub 16, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

What can 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 about your first tier review. In some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review after this. You should contact the SPSO for advice.

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:

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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