Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scottish Welfare Fund statutory guidance

Guidance covering the Scottish Welfare Fund and Self-Isolation Support Grant (SISG).

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Application process

Applications may be made using a separate, shorter application process, recording the information required to establish eligibility and such other information as is required for national or local recording.

SISG will be available from 12 October. Applicants who were asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September can apply and those who were advised to stay at home after 1 May 2022 can apply. Local authorities should not accept applications from people told to self-isolate before 28 September 2020, even if the period of self-isolation continues after 28 September. If such individuals are experiencing a financial crisis as a result of having self-isolated they may, of course, apply separately for a Crisis Grant. From the scheme launch on 12 October those who have been asked to self-isolate will have 14 days to make an application. However, those who have been asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September but before the scheme launch on 12 October will have 14 days from 12 October to make an application.

From 7 December the isolation period was reduced to 10 calendar days. Applicants who were asked to self-isolate between 7 December and 1 February will have 10 days to make an application.

From 16 February, applications can be made at any point during the 28 calendar days from the day they are told to self-isolate. Individuals who meet the revised criteria as outlined at 11.6 from 2 February will have 28 calendar days from 16 February to make an application.

From 1 May 2022, applications can be made at any point during the 28 calendar days from the day they are advised to stay at home. Individuals who meet the revised criteria as outlined at 11.6G from 1 May 2022 will have 28 calendar days from 1 May 2022 to make an application.

Local authorities will have discretion to make a SISG award to an applicant in exceptional circumstances, where factors beyond the person’s control, mean that they were unable to apply, or unable to demonstrate that they were eligible within the relevant claim period e.g. were too ill to make an application within the period or experienced delays and/or difficulties in confirming test and protect status. Where there is evidence of exceptional circumstances, the applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria as described in 11.21. If an application is awarded using exceptional circumstances beyond the relevant claim period, the financial need must be current.

This discretion only applies to the timescale for applications and the test and protect status. Where there is evidence of exceptional circumstances, the applicant must meet the low income criteria (as described at 11.21) to qualify for the award and face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they, their child, or person they are caring for are self-isolating or staying at home as advised. Awards made to meet a financial need which is no longer current would not fall within the purpose for which the SWF can be used.

In cases where the applicant faces financial hardship as a result of self-isolation or staying at home as advised, but does not meet the low income criteria (as described at 11.21), the local authority may invite the applicant to apply for a Crisis Grant and will apply the tests and considerations for Crisis Grants set out elsewhere in this guidance.

In a case where the applicant faces financial hardship as a result of self-isolation or staying at home as advised pending a coronavirus test result, the local authority may invite the applicant to apply for a Crisis Grant and will apply the tests and considerations for Crisis Grants set out elsewhere in this guidance.

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