Scottish Welfare Fund - Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants

Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants

The Scottish Welfare Fund is a discretionary scheme administered by local authorities which aims to:

  • provide a safety net in an emergency when there is an immediate threat to health and safety through the provision of Crisis Grants.
  • enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care through the provision of Community Care Grants. 

How to apply

Complete an online application form or phone 01738 476900 (Option 2).

Alternatively, you can apply for a Community Care Grant by downloading and printing of an application form:  icon Scottish Welfare Fund application form [269Kb]

Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants are given in cash or goods and do not need to be paid back. Find out more about  icon how grant awards are made [86Kb]

Who can apply?

In order to be considered for a Crisis Grant or Community Care Grant, you must be aged 16 years or over.  You cannot be considered for a payment if you are from abroad and your residence permit states "no recourse to public funds".   

Crisis Grants - how to qualify 

Crisis Grants are payable :

  • To help people experiencing a disaster such as a fire or a flood.
  • To help people who need help in an emergency such as having all their money stolen. 

What can I apply for?

You can get a Crisis Grant for day to day living expenses for essential items such as food, heating costs, nappies, toiletries and travel costs.  Household goods may also be considered in the event of a disaster.

Are there any circumstances where a Crisis Grant might not be awarded?

You might not get a Crisis Grant if one or more of the following applies:

  • You have access to money or other resources to tide you over the crisis. 
  • You have made a recent claim for benefit and you are waiting on your first payment - you should apply to the DWP for a Short-Term Benefit Advance instead.  
  • Your benefit is subject to sanction or disallowance by the DWP and your benefit is reduced as a result, a Crisis Grant is only likely to be awarded to meet expenses which are the consequence of a disaster or the cost of food for your children. You should apply for a Hardship Payment from the DWP instead.
  • You have already received three Crisis Grants.  The number of awards that you can receive from all Scottish councils in any twelve month rolling period will normally be limited to three. Any further awards within this period will be at the discretion of the council and will only be given in exceptional circumstances. 

Community Care Grants - How to qualify

Community Care Grants are payable in the following circumstances:

  • To enable qualifying individuals who are leaving care or imprisonment to establish or maintain a settled home, where without a grant there is a risk that the individual will not be able to do so.
  • To enable qualifying individuals to establish or maintain a settled home after being homeless, or otherwise living an unsettled way of life.
  • To enable qualifying individuals to maintain a settled home, where without a grant there is a risk of the individual needing to go into a care institution.
  • To enable qualifying individuals to maintain a settled home in a situation where that individual, or another individual in the same household, is facing exceptional pressure.
  • To assist a person to care for a qualifying individual who has been released from prison or a young offenders' institution on temporary release.

What can I apply for?

Applications can be made for essential items such as household goods, travel costs, removal expenses and connection charges for gas and electricity.

What about savings?

A Community Care Grant will not be awarded if you, or your partner, have savings over £700 (£1,200 if you are above State Pension Credit age).

Providing evidence

Whether you are applying for a Crisis Grant or a Community Care Grant, you will normally be asked to provide evidence to support your application. This helps to make sure that the right decision is made. Evidence that may be required includes:

  • Tenancy agreement
  • Bank, building society, Post Office or credit union statement
  • Wage slips
  • Lost property or crime reference number (contact Police Scotland by dialling 101).
  • Receipts.

Identity requirement

We may need to confirm your identity before we can make an award.  If this applies to you, you will need to produce two original documents from the  icon identification requirement list [20Kb].  

Processing timescales

The aim is to process Crisis Grants as soon as possible with a maximum processing time of 24 hours from receipt of all required evidence.  If required evidence is not received then a decision will be made by the end of the next working day.

We also aim to process Community Care Grants within 15 working days from receipt of all required evidence. Please note that working days do not include weekends or public holidays.

Will I definitely get a grant if I meet the qualifying conditions?

The amount of funding each council gets to spend each year on the Scottish Welfare Fund is limited and, unfortunately, there is not enough money to help everyone who applies.  Your application will therefore be given a high, medium or low "priority rating" according to your individual circumstances and needs. There is also statutory guidance published by the Scottish Government which needs to be followed when applications are decided. 

Grants will be awarded according to your priority rating and whether you have no alternative means of paying for what you need.  

The budget priority ratings for Perth & Kinross Council are decided at the start of each month and can vary on a month to month basis depending on the money available.  

Priority Ratings for 2017
MonthCommunity Care GrantsCrisis Grants
January HighHigh
FebruaryMedium and highHigh
MarchMedium and highHigh
AprilMedium and highHigh

What happens if I do not qualify for a grant or my application is refused?

Some icon items are excluded [229Kb] from being paid out by the Scottish Welfare Fund.   You may be able to get icon help and support elsewhere [117Kb].      

You can also ask for the decision to be looked at again.  This is called a review.  Find out icon how to apply for a review [602Kb].    

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the Scottish Government's Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Scottish Welfare Fund logo   Scottish Government logo

Contact details

Scottish Welfare Fund

Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD
Tel 01738 476900 (Option 2)