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Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF)

What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for vulnerable people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.  The Scottish Welfare Fund is a national scheme, underpinned by law and delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all local councils.  The Scottish Welfare Fund replaced elements of the Social Fund abolished by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2013.

The Scottish Welfare Fund continues to help Scottish households in need. From 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2017 more than  254,000 individual households in Scotland have been helped with awards totalling £132.6 million. Of the 254,000 households, almost 137,000 were single person households and more than 84,000 were families with children.

Community Care Grants made under the scheme aim to help vulnerable people set up home, or continue to live independently within their community, specifically:

  • helping families under exceptional pressure

  • helping people following a period of care or homelessness

  • helping people continue to live independently where there’s a risk of care or homelessness

  • helping people meet additional costs associated with looking after someone on temporary release from prison or a young offenders’ institution

    Crisis Grants made under the scheme aim to help people facing a disaster or emergency.

  • A disaster might mean a fire or a flood

  • An emergency, for example, running out of food, might be caused by a sudden loss of income

    Between 1 April 2013 and  31 December 2016, almost  160,000 Community Care Grants were awarded. The awards were typically for floor coverings, white goods and furnishings.  During the same time period, around 370,000 Crisis Grants were awarded. Most Crisis Grant expenditure was on food, essential heating costs and other living expenses

You may be eligible to receive a grant if you are aged 16 or over and on a low income.  To apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund you must contact your local council

If your query is in respect of any aspect of your Scottish Welfare Fund application, you must contact your local council.