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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.

Crisis Grants are paid in cash through 111 Paypoint outlets in West Lothian. Most Paypoint outlets are open 7 days a week from 6 am until 10 pm. Paypoint vouchers can also be collected at Arrochar House in Livingston, Jim Walker Partnership Centre in Bathgate, Whitburn Partnership Centre & Strathbrock Partnership Centre in Broxburn from Tuesday 02 April 2024.

To find your nearest Paypoint outlet, please visit the Paypoint website (opens new window)

Community Care Grant

Community Care Grants can support independent living, preventing the need for institutional care. Applicants who qualify for a Community Care Grant will be provided with household items, cash is only given in exceptional circumstances if a household item cannot be sourced from the furniture supplier.

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.  Grants 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.

How to apply

To apply please use the Scottish Welfare Fund online form (opens new window).

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.

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.

Applicants can discuss alternative ways of providing evidence with a Scottish Welfare Fund Officer during the application process.

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.

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 (opens new window)

Scottish Government award a number of grants/benefits and one-off payments to parents of young children.  These include: Best Start Pregnancy and Baby payments; Early Learning Payment and School Age Payments and a prepaid card that can be used to buy food for children under 3.  Scottish Government will award a Scottish Child Payment of £25 per child, per week to parents of children aged 6 to 15.  To find out more about Scottish Government awards and to apply for any of these payments please visit Social Security Scotland - Benefits (opens new window)

If you don't think that you would get help or benefits from the DWP but still need help, the West Lothian Citizen's Advice Bureau (opens new window) 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.

Data Protection law gives you a number of rights including the right to make a complaint about the handling of your personal information. Complaints should be submitted to the Information Commissioner's Office or the Council's Data Protection Officer. Further details can be found on the Data Protection Section of our website.

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