The Social Fund

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The Social Fund provides financial help to people who receive certain benefits (including Pension Credit) and need help with extra expenses. If you are on a low income‚ it is difficult to save for emergency expenses such as funeral costs or furniture for a new home.

There are two parts to the Social Fund - regulated and discretionary.

The regulated Social Fund

The regulated Social Fund covers:

Funeral payments: You may be able to get a payment towards funeral costs if you have good reason for taking responsibility for the expenses and you or your partner are receiving any of the benefits below:

  • Pension Credit;
  • Income Support;
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Council Tax Benefit;
  • Working Tax Credit (which includes the disability or severe disability element);
  • Child Tax Credit (paid at a rate that exceeds the family element).

Cold Weather payments: If you receive Pension Credit (PC), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), which includes a pensioner or disability premium, you will receive a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for each week of very cold weather.

Winter Fuel payments: Winter Fuel Payments are paid to pensioner households to help with the cost of fuel. They are paid to most people of State Pension Age and over living in Great Britain and there are no income or savings limits (your State Pension Age will depend on when you were born - you can calculate this at the website.)

The discretionary Social Fund

The discretionary Social Fund provides three types of payments:

Bugeting loans: The applications for budgeting loans and community care grants are separate so it may be better to try for a non-repayable grant before you consider a loan.

Budgeting loans and community care grants can be given for items such as furniture, household equipment, clothing and footwear, removal costs or home improvements, maintenance and home security measures.

Further information

Download Age Scotland's Scottish Welfare Fund factsheet.

Download the factsheet from Age Scotland partner Age UK.

Download The Social Fund factsheet (PDF 181KB)


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