Scottish Welfare Fund Statistics: Annual Update: 2021-22

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

This publication provides information on the SWF for 2021/22, and since 2013 when the scheme began.

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Items and Payments

In 2021-22 the most common Community Care Grant expenditure remained on floor coverings, beds and bedding, and kitchen appliances such as washing machines, cookers, fridges and freezers (Table 44).

In general, the most commonly awarded items and their proportions of the total number of items awarded have remained similar quarter to quarter (Table 43). The quantity of most items awarded increased in line with the overall increase in Community Care Grant awards in 2021-22 (Table 21). There was a relatively large increase in grants awarded for 'Other living expenses' of which there were almost five times as many in 2021-22 as in 2020-21.

As in previous years, the most common Crisis Grant awards were for food, essential heating expenses and other living expenses (Table 48). The amount spent on food decreased by 2%, reaching £12.4 million in 2021-22, remaining the leading Crisis Grant expenditure, and the amount spent on other living expenses increased by 12%. There was a 210% increase in the number of items awarded relating to 'Nappies, toiletries and household products', although the amount spent on these items fell, implying a much wider provision for cheaper items within this category (Table 50).

The most common payment method for Community Care Grants remained provision of new goods (53% of payments, Table 52). Cash remained the most common payment method for Crisis Grants (46% of payments) (Table 54). The number of awards of store vouchers, and of a cash alternative, both increased by 32% compared to 2020-21, and payments into the bank fell by 13% for Community Care Grants, possibly because of the end of lockdown.

In 2021-22, 58% of Community Care Grant payments were made within one week, three percentage points lower than 2020-21, whereas larger numbers of payments were made within two to three weeks (Chart 11). These changes may reflect the reduction in the number of awards paid into bank accounts, and also the volume of applications received at busy times of the year. Sixty-two percent of Crisis Grants were paid on the same day as all information being received which is three percentage points lower than 2020-21 (Chart 12).

Chart 11: Distribution of time to make Community Care Grant payments (comparing 2020-21 with 2021-22)
Chart showing distribution of payment times by week for CCGs.
Chart 12: Distribution of time to make Crisis Grant payments (comparing 2020-21 with 2021-22)
Chart showing distribution of payment times by day for CCGs.



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