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Scottish Welfare Fund

Scottish Welfare Fund

Means-tested grants to help in an emergency or to help you live in the community

The Scottish Welfare Fund helps people who are on a low income and who are in difficult situations. Cash or goods can be awarded if this will make someone safer or help them to live independently.

This page explains how to apply, and what a crisis grant and community care grant are.

Want more information about the Scottish Welfare Fund?

Download and read our free guide today

Free benefits workshops

Every year, millions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed by older people in Scotland. We want to change that.

Our benefit workshops aim to lift the lid on the benefit system, making it easier for older people, and those who support them, to claim the money they are entitled to. 

How do I apply?

You need to apply to the council where you live who administer the Scottish Welfare Fund. The way you can apply for help will vary between each council, but they usually accept applications online, by phone, face-to-face and using paper application forms. You can apply yourself, or someone else can apply on your behalf if you agree. 

Crisis Grants

In an emergency or a disaster, a Crisis Grant can provide a safety net if there is an immediate threat to health or safety. It can cover immediate short-term living expenses, or items you need because of a disaster.

A decision about a Crisis Grant application should be made immediately once the council has all the information it needs, and at the latest by the end of the second working day after the application.

Community Care Grants

A Community Care Grant can be made to help you live independently and reduce the risk of you needing institutional care such as a care home, hospital, or sheltered accommodation with intensive support.

A grant can also be made to help you to have a more settled way
of life, to help families facing exceptional pressure, or to help you in
your role as a carer if this helps the person you care for stay in the

Grants can provide help with things like furniture, household equipment, travel costs, removal expenses, and installation charges for cookers and washing machines.

A decision about a Community Care Grant application should be made within 15 working days from receiving your application.

Order copies of our publications

You can download our guides using the links on this page. To request copies, which will be posted out to you for free, you can use our online publications order form or call the Age Scotland Helpline (0800 12 44 222 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

Age Scotland Helpline

Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free to speak to an adviser. Our advisers can perform entitlements checks and help you find out if you're missing out. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.


Last updated: Jul 27 2023

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