Scottish Welfare Fund


In 2013, changes to the DWP Social Fund scheme meant that Crisis Loans for Living Expenses and Community Care Grants stopped. In their place is a scheme called Scottish Welfare Fund this is now being delivered by local Councils and provides two types of grant:

  • Crisis Grants - can help pay for the things someone needs to prevent harm to their or their family's health or safety because of an emergency or disaster. Applications can be made for living expenses to buy essential items such as food, heating costs, nappies and toiletries.

  • Community Care Grants - can help people with the things they need to live independently in the community rather than having to live or stay in care. Applications can be made for essential items such as furniture, household equipment, removal expenses.

How do I Apply?

  • Apply online (link to external site, opens in a new window - make sure your browser popup settings allow this)
  • Call us on 0300 555 0265  Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 4.30pm, Wednesday lines don't open until 10.30am due to staff training. Calls to 0300 cost no more than the national rate. If you phone we can call you back so you don’t get charged unnecessary telephone costs

Once you’ve applied, Fife Council  will contact you within 2 working days if you have applied for a Crisis Grant or up to 15 working days if you have applied for a Community Care Grant

How often can I apply?

Crisis grants

You can normally only get 3 crisis grants in a 12 month period.

If you claimed a benefit from The Department for Working and Pensions or at your Job Centre and you are waiting for your first payment, you should contact them first for a Short Term Benefit Advance.

If you have applied before for the same goods/services, you can only apply again after 28 days of your application, unless there has been a relevant change in your circumstances.

If you have already claimed a crisis grant please allow 2 working days for us to process your application and call you back.

Community Care grants

If you have applied before for the same goods/services, you can only apply again after 28 days of your application, unless there has been a relevant change in your circumstances.  If you have already claimed a community care grant please allow up to 15 working days for us to process your application and we will call you back as soon as possible within this timescale.

Excluded Items

There are items for which an award from the Scottish Welfare Fund cannot be made:

 If the item(s) you need is on the fund excluded list, you can see what other alternative support can be provided

Still unsure if the Scottish Welfare Fund can help you?

Why not read our myth busting information sheet

Will my personal circumstances be checked by the welfare team? Yes

  • We have the required access to DWP data to check information provided by applicants.
  • We will work with applicants to identify any other support they may need or be entitled to and refer them to relevant services to help tackle underlying problems.  This may include money advice, debt advice, welfare rights, social work or any other relevant services. 
  • We are working with DWP to achieve continuity with other welfare provision.
  • Eligibility checks will be done to find out whether the applicant is eligible for a grant.  These include identity and residence checks , a check against a savings threshold and the limit for repeat applications.
  • We will check that the applicant’s personal circumstances meet the conditions set out for the grants.
  • We will check the applicant’s needs are of sufficient priority to warrant a payment from limited funds by assessing them as high, medium or low priority.
  • We will check there is sufficient money available in the budget to pay a grant. 


What happens if I am refused a grant or I do not qualify?

You can find more information on our review process here.

Where else can I get support ?

Fife council, other agencies and local charities are on hand to help and give you advice on anything from budgeting, getting back onto learning, employment, travel costs to energy advice and keeping safe.

A list of other support options are available here  

Where can I find out more information about the scheme? 

To find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund, see the page on the Scottish Government's Website at:

Welfare Fund (Scotland) Bill passes 

Scottish Government have now finalised the permanent arrangements for the scheme.

Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill 


 Welfare Fund performance

Scottish Welfare Fund performance stats




Go Top

We have placed cookies on your computer to improve your experience here. If you do not want us to use cookies you can change your settings at any time.