Scottish Welfare Fund

Details of how to apply and who can apply for Crisis and Community Care Grants through the Scottish Welfare Fund.

What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?

Scottish Local Authorities are responsible for the administration of the Scottish Welfare Fund. The discretionary scheme provides two types of grant - Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants. These grants do not need to be paid back

Crisis Grant

Crisis Grants can be awarded in a crisis to meet expenses that have arisen as a result of an emergency or disaster in order to avoid an immediate threat to health or safety.  Examples of items that can be awarded are help with food and utility costs.

Community Care Grant

Community Care Grants can support independent living, preventing the need for institutional care. A Community Care Grant may not be awarded if the applicant (or their partner) has savings of over £700 if they are below pension age, or £1200 if above pension age.

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 key test of eligibility for a Crisis Grant is the severity of your situation and the likely impact of the grant on you and your family, if you have a family.

The key test of eligibility for a Community Care Grant is whether or not the grant will help you maintain or establish a settled way of life in the community. 

How to apply

To apply please use the Scottish Welfare Fund online form.

If you require assistance in completing your application, you can call us on 01506 280000. The opening hours are 08:30 - 17:00 Monday to Friday.

If you are unable to complete a form by either of the above methods you can call into one of our local CIS offices where staff may be able to help assist you complete a form.

Providing Evidence

We may ask you to provide evidence to support your Scottish Welfare Fund application. The quickest and easiest way to provide evidence is to upload this online using our evidence upload form.

Alternatively evidence can be submitted at your local Customer Information Service centre (CIS), details of your local CIS office including opening times can be found here.

What happens if I disagree with your decision?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application, further information can be found on the Scottish Welfare Fund Review process page.

Help from other sources

There may be other sources of help available to you.

The DWP Social Fund will still continue to award other funds, which include:

  • Funeral Payments
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • Winter Fuel Payments
  • Sure Start Maternity Grants
  • Budgeting Loans/Budgeting Advances

You might be able to get help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  The DWP pays Short Term Benefit Advances, Hardship Payments and Budgeting Loans. You can get more details on the DWP website

If you don't think that you would get help or benefits from the DWP but still need help, the West Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to offer you advice.

You can also contact the council's Advice Shop who will provide information on welfare rights, money advice, energy advice and housing advice.

You may also wish to contact your local council Customer Information Services (CIS) centre for information on what other help may be available.

If you are unhappy with the decision about your application for a Crisis grant or Community Care grant through the Scottish Welfare Fund.