Scottish Welfare Fund

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The Scottish Welfare Fund continues to help Scottish households in need. Since the scheme began in April 2013, more than 254,000 individual households have been helped, with awards totalling £132.6 million to 31 March 2017.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released statistics on the Scottish Welfare Fund covering  2016/17 and previous financial years dating back to 1 April 2013. The statistics showed that of the 254,000 households helped to 31 March 2017, almost 137,000 were single person households and more than 84,000 were families with children.

The Scottish Welfare Fund comprises of Community Care Grants – which help people to live independently – and Crisis Grants, which provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency.

During 2016/17, a total of £34.7 million was awarded through the Scottish Welfare Fund, this was 98% of the £35.4 million budget available (£33 million allocated for 2016/17 by the Scottish Government, plus £1.8 million underspend carried forward from 2015/16, plus £0.5 million additional funding from Local Authorities own funds). During 2016/17 eight Local Authorities provided additional funding to meet their local needs.

Community Care Grants

  • During 2016/17, 67,905 Community Care Grant applications were decided and an award was made in 42,775 cases. Overall, 63% of cases were successful, two percentage points lower than in 2015/16.
  • During 2016/17, Local Authorities awarded £25.4 million in Community Care Grants, with an average award value of around £595, the most common expenditure was on floor coverings, white goods, and furniture.

Crisis Grants

  • During 2016/17, 164,965 Crisis Grant applications were decided and an award was made in 116,830 cases. Overall, 71% of applications were successful, the same proportion as the previous year . 
  • Local Authorities awarded £9.3 million in Crisis Grants during 2016/17 with an average award value of around £79. The most common expenditure was on food, essential heating costs and other living expenses.


The full statistical publication is available at:

This publication contains:  an overview of who has been helped by the scheme; details on the processing times for applications; information on what the Scottish Welfare Fund has been spent on; and, household analyses.  Local Authority analyses and details of the review process are also provided.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

On 1 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) abolished  two elements of the Social Fund -  Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans  - and transferred funds previously spent on them to Scottish Ministers.  In its place, the Scottish Government established the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF). The Scottish Welfare Fund is a national scheme run by local authorities, based on guidance from Scottish Ministers.  The guidance has been developed in partnership with COSLA, Local Authorities and other stakeholders.


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