Scottish Welfare Fund Statistics: update to 31 December 2023

In the latest quarter, the Scottish Welfare Fund awarded 195,435 individual households with a total of £11.8 million. More than a third of households receiving an award were families with children, while half were single person households with no children.

During October to December 2023, local authorities received 20,390 applications for Community Care Grants, a decrease of 15% compared to October to December 2022. At the same time, local authorities made 10,060 Community Care Grant awards, a decrease of 16%, spending £7.5 million, a decrease of 11% compared to October to December 2022. Local authorities received 59,780 Crisis Grant applications in October to December 2023, a 12% decrease compared to October to December 2022. At the same time, local authorities made 36,860 Crisis Grant awards, a 14% decrease, spending £4.3 million, 7% less than in October to December 2022.

During October to December 2023, 13% of Community Care Grant awards were repeats, and 63% of Crisis Grant awards were repeats, both two percentage points higher than October to December 2022.

From October to December 2023, 76% of Community Care Grant applications and 95% of Crisis Grant applications were processed within target times.

Local authorities have been allocated £35.5 million for Scottish Welfare Fund awards in 2023/24. There was also an estimated underspend of £3.1 million carried forward from 2022/23. Of the estimated total £38.6 million available for awards, £38.3 million (99%) had been spent in the first nine months of the year.

We have previously highlighted data quality issues with the official statistics, discrepancies between the official statistics and management information, and quality issues for certain local authorities (described in the data quality section).

Management information to February 2024 has been provided for comparison in Tables 44 and 45, which can differ from the official statistics by a few percentage points. However, the official statistics provide much more detailed information and breakdowns that are not available from the monthly management information and remain the recommended primary source for analysis and commentary

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