Social Fund is now Scottish Welfare Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is abolishing the discretionary Social Fund from April 2013.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is abolishing the discretionary Social Fund from April 2013.

It will be replaced by the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF). This is a discretionary scheme administered by local authorities. A discretionary scheme means it provides grants that do not have to be repaid and provides a better service to vulnerable members of the local community.

There are two types of grants in the SWF:

► Crisis Grants

A Crisis Grant aims to help people, who are in crisis because of a disaster or an emergency. A disaster is something like a fire or a flood. An emergency can be when they have lost money or it was stolen. Crisis Grants award decisions will be made within 2 working days and there are a variety of methods available to support grant awards

► Community Care Grants

A Community Care Grant aims to help people who may have to go into care unless they get some support to stay at home. Or, if they are leaving any form of care and need help to set-up their own home. It can also help families facing exceptional pressures, with one-off items, like a cooker or a washing machine. Applications for Community Care Grants will be processed within 15 working days. Awards may be given for goods, services or by direct bank transfer

               

Applications for Scottish Welfare Fund Grants

Applications for SWF grants are can be made by telephone, the Grants Services team are available on 0141 276 1177, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, or you can apply online for a Scottish Welfare Fund grant.

What happens if I am unhappy with the outcome of my application ?

If you are unhappy with our decision, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a Review.

First Tier Reviews must be made in writing within 20 working days of our original decision and should include -

· The reason for your request.

· The reference number and date of the original decision being questioned.

· Details of any change in circumstances since your original application.

· The signature of the applicant or written consent from the applicant if the review is made on the applicant's behalf.

The time limit of 20 working days can be extended if you can show you had good reasons for not asking for a review within the lime limit allowed.

First Tier Reviews will be dealt with in 2 working days for Crisis Grants and 15 working days for Community Care Grants.

The Review will be dealt with by a different decision maker, not involved in the original decision.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the First Tier Review, you can ask for a Second Tier Review.

Second Tier Reviews are carried out by a panel made up of people who are not involved with the decision making team. The panel will ensure that correct, reasonable and fair decisions are being made and the guidance for the fund is being followed.

The maximum time for dealing with Second Tier Reviews is 5 working days for Crisis Grants and 30 working days for Community Care Grants.

Possible outcomes of a Review are:

· The original decision is upheld.

· The original decision is overturned and a new decision made. This may involve making an award where none has been made or a change in the nature or value of the award made.

· The decision can be set aside and referred back to the decision making team with a specific recommendation, for example to gather more evidence.

Applications for review should be sent to Scottish Welfare Team, Glasgow City Council, PO Box 26816, G2 9AF.


Continuing DWP benefits

Not all aspects of DWPs' Social Fund are being abolished. The following will continue to be dealt with by DWP:

· Sure Start Maternity Grants

· Funeral Payments

· Cold Weather Payments

· Winter Fuel Payments 

DWP will continue to offer support to people waiting for their first payment of benefit and who, in the absence of any other financial support, need an advance of that benefit to tide them over until the benefit is in payment. DWP will also continue to provide Budgeting Loans for those on income related benefits and Budgeting Advances for those on Universal Credit.

If you would like to apply for any of the continuing DWP benefits please contact the DWP directly on 0845 603 6967.


Support

If you need further advice regarding changes to the welfare benefits system contact the GAIN (Glasgow Advice & Information Network) phone 0808 801 1011 to speak to someone about your situation.

Advice and support is also available for citizen's of Glasgow on a variety of topics at the Your Support, Your Way Glasgow portal www.yoursupportglasgow.org/.