Scottish Welfare Fund

Last updated: 28/07/2021

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides several grants and payments for people facing a crisis or needing essential household items. You may be able to get a community care grant or a budgeting loan to buy things you need for your home.

Crisis Grant

You must be 16 years or over and have a low income to get a crisis grant but you do not need to be getting any benefits. Crisis grants provide help for people who need money quickly because of an emergency or disaster. They are usually small amounts given to pay for food or heating costs for a few weeks at most. These grants are discretionary but do not have to be paid back.

Contact your local council to apply.


Community care grant

You must be 16 years or over, have a low income and be leaving care or need help to stay in your home to get a community care grant. You do not have to be getting benefits and the money does not have to be paid back.

The fund can pay out cash grants or give assistance with fuel cards, food vouchers, travel permits, loaded store cards for the purchase of white goods and furniture. Each local authority can use its discretion on the type of help they will provide.

Applications should be made through your local council. You can phone them or visit their website for details, but your application is likely to be more successful if you get help from a Citizens Advice Bureau or a Welfare Rights Officer at your local council.

Contact your local council to apply.

Applications for a budgeting loan

You can apply online or pick up a form at your local Jobcentre Plus.

Apply for budgeting loan online.

Budgeting loans

Budgeting loans are interest-free loans to purchase items such as furniture, household equipment, clothing, maternity expenses, funeral expenses, rent deposit, removal expenses and travelling expenses. The money has to be paid back.

To qualify you must be receiving one of the following for a period of 26 weeks:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit

If you get Universal Credit you can apply for a Budgeting Advance which must be repaid from future payments of Universal Credit. Applications are made through your Jobcentre office or by calling the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644. See Universal credit advances