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Scottish Welfare Fund

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Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) is a discretionary scheme administered by local authorities.

The fund is split into Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants. Any grant awarded is based on our assessment of your circumstances.

It is important to remember that the Scottish Welfare Fund is a Budget limited Scheme and grants will only be fulfilled if there is enough money left in the allocated budget.  The decision to award, and how much is awarded, will be determined by the Council and is based on the eligibility & qualifying criteria set by the Scottish Government.

For more information visit the Scottish Government website.

Due to the unprecedented volume of applications being received at Scottish Welfare Fund, it is taking us longer than normal to process. We appreciate your patience whilst we work through them.

Crisis Grants

Crisis grants aim to help people who are in crisis because of a disaster or an emergency.

Examples of this may include when:

  • you have had a fire or flood at home
  • an unexpected situation has occurred
  • you're a victim of domestic abuse and you need help with things like moving away from an abuser
  • you're a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits
  • you're facing a gap in your normal income because of a redundancy or change at work
  • you have just been released from prison


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.

If you meet the eligibility & qualifying criteria for a Community Care Grant, any award made will be fulfilled through goods which are sourced and delivered by us. Cash will only be given in rare situations.     

We carry out checks to make sure you need the items applied for. These checks can include carrying out an unarranged home visit before an award is made.

A Community Care Grant can be given, if you qualify, to help with costs if:

  • you're leaving care or prison and need help to start a new and settled home
  • you've been homeless, or living an unsettled life such as sofa surfing, and need help to set up a new and settled home
  • you need support to stay out of care like a hospital or a homeless unit
  • you're caring for someone who's been released from prison or a young offender's institution
  • you're experiencing great pressure and need help to keep your home to a liveable standard or you require an item such as a washing machine and you are incontinent
  • you're escaping domestic abuse and need help
  • a child's health is at risk due to not having a settled home or essential items like a washing machine for their clothing, or a suitable bed for the child to rest


How do I apply?

The quickest and easiest way to apply is using our Application Form (opens new window)

**Please be aware there is a 20 minute timeout when completing the application, therefore please have all personal and financial details to hand, prior to starting your application and save your application as you go along - keeping a note of your application reference number and any password used.**

If you have any difficulties doing this at home, you can seek assistance and support from organisations such as Social Work, your local Housing Association, Citizens Advice and various similar support groups.   

If you need help completing or understanding the application form for a Crisis Grant, you can make contact with us Monday to Friday between the hours of 10.00am to 4.00pm. 

For all Community Care Grants, you can make a new application online 24/7

Alternatively, if either of these options are not suitable for you, you can download our paper application under the 'related documents' section below and submit by post to the following address:

Scottish Welfare Team
Glasgow City Council
45 John Street
PO Box 36
G1 1JE

If you are unable to download the form, please contact us on us on 0141 276 1177, option 1.

Please note that by downloading and posting your form, the processing of your application will take longer.

I have applied previously, can I apply again?

Every application will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.  There are, however, some rules about repeat applications to keep in mind. 

Also, while there is no limit on the number of Community Care Grants an individual can receive in any one year, Crisis Grants are normally limited to three in a rolling 12-month period.

We give priority to people who

  • have an immediate need
  • are vulnerable due to old age, ill health or another reason
  • face significant adverse consequences if the grant is not given.


Can I apply if I am subject to a benefit sanction?

Being subject to a sanction or disallowance does not affect your eligibility.

I have made a new application to the DWP, but need help

If you have made a claim to DWP and it's delayed, you should seek assistance from DWP in the first instance where they may be able to provide you with a short-term benefit advance.

How do I ask for a review of my application?

If you are not happy with our decision, you can ask for a review using our online form.

Please note representatives are required to upload a copy of a signed mandate when submitting a First Tier Review on behalf of an applicant.

First tier reviews must be made in writing within 20 working days of our original decision.

The time limit of 20 working days can be extended if you can evidence why you did not request a review within the allocated time.

If you cannot complete our online form, you will have to submit a written review.

Written reviews should include:

  • The date and reference number from your decision letter
  • The reasons why you do not think the right decision was made on the application. For example, this might be because you do not think we took all the relevant information into account, because you do not agree with the award that has been made or because you don't agree that you are not eligible for the Scottish Welfare Fund.
  • Information which you did not give us when you filled in your application but which you think might make a difference to our decision. Please phone us to find out more about this if you are not sure.
  • Information on any changes to your circumstances since the application which might make a difference to our decision.
  • Your signature. If someone is making a review request for you, you must sign the letter giving your agreement for the review to proceed.

Written reviews must be sent to the address below:

Scottish Welfare Team
Glasgow City Council
PO Box 26816
G2 9AF

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 remain unhappy after a First Tier Review decision, the next step is to request an Independent Review by the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO).  You can access the full details here: .The SPSO are not part of the council and their service is free.

Where else can I get assistance?

There may be other sources of help available to you.  Glasgow City 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.

Your Support Your Way Glasgow has been developed by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) with our partners. It provides you with information, advice and guidance about local services, groups and sources of help that aim to support you to maintain or improve your lifestyle, independence and health and wellbeing in the community or in a community-setting. This includes health and social care support provided by the statutory, independent and third sectors, as well as support networks, groups and clubs within local communities. There is also information on a range of topics including health and wellbeing and money advice among others.

You can access the website by clicking the link Your Support Your Way

Glasgow Helps is a new service set up to work directly with the people of Glasgow. They offer free, confidential support, information and advice for citizens on a wide range of issues including:

  • Fuel Support
  • Food Support
  • Employability
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Housing Issues and much more.

They will listen to what you need, what your aims are, and work with you to help you to access the right support services at the right time in the right place. 
Find out more about Glasgow Helps here . You can also contact them through our glasgow helps referral form or by calling 0141 276 1185. Arrangements are able to be made for an interpreter if required.

You may also be able to get help and advice from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). Depending on your circumstances, DWP might pay a:

  • Short Term Benefit Advance
  • Hardship Payments, Budgeting Loan
  • Sure Start Maternity Payment
  • Cold Weather Payment - Winter Fuel Payments are available during periods of adverse weather conditions.

Grants are also available from Social Security Scotland and these include:

  • Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Job Start Payment
  • Young Carer Grant
  • Carers Allowance Supplement
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment

The Scottish Child Payment

If you have children under the age of 16 and meet eligible criteria, you may be entitled to The Scottish Child Payment.

You should apply for Scottish Child Payment if you:

  • receive a low-income benefit such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, or Pension Credit
  • have responsibility for a child or children under the age of 16
  • live in Scotland

Find out more and apply online at or by calling Social Security Scotland on free on 0800 182 2222.

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau or local Welfare Rights Organisation may be able to offer you advice. Details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau can be found on their website at

You can find out more about local welfare rights organisations on the Rights Advice Scotland website at:

Other useful links for food, fuel and furniture support

Is there anything excluded from the Fund?

There are items for which an award from the Scottish Welfare Fund cannot be made.  A full list of these excluded items is available as part of the Scottish Welfare Fund Guidance information available online via Scottish Government.

I wish to complain about the way my application was handled by the council, how do I do this?

If your complaint is about a member of staff or Council policy, rather than the decision or outcome of your application, you can follow our Council Complaint process and use our online complaint form.

If having been through the council's complaints procedure you remain unhappy, you can ask SPSO to look at your complaint.  More information about this service is available at:


Live Chat

Glasgow City Council's Live chat is available during office hours for you to direct Scottish Welfare Fund enquiries to live chat agents. Live Chat has been designed to help you navigate our website and to answer general queries. If your enquiry is more complex, you may be asked to contact us via our digital services or by telephone or email. When you access or use our live chat software, we will only ask you to provide the minimum amount of personal information necessary to assist you. At the end of your chat, you will be asked to complete a short survey about your experience. We will use this feedback to help improve and develop our live chat service. You can find out more about how we use the data you provide during live chat in our Privacy Statement.

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Scottish Welfare Fund application form (PDF) [225KB] (opens new window)

Information Leaflet (PDF) [641KB] (opens new window)

Challenging Decisions leaflet (PDF) [307KB] (opens new window)

Last modified on 09 May 2024

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