Renfrewshire Council

Scottish Welfare Fund

To apply, use our online application or download an application form. You can also get this application form from one of our customer service points.

The Scottish Welfare Fund offers grants or in-kind support for two purposes:

Crisis grants which provide a safety - net in a disaster or emergency when there is an immediate threat to health or safety.

Community Care grants which enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care.

The grants are intended to be available to people who do not have alternative means of paying for what they need. They do not need to be paid back. Grants are intended to meet one-off needs rather than ongoing expenses.

Who can apply?
You must be 16 or over to apply for assistance from the Scottish Welfare Fund and normally be entitled to one of the following benefits (although this is not essential):

  • Income Support/Job Seekers (Income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income related)
  • Pension Credit (GC/SC)
  • Universal Credit

The key test of eligibility for a Crisis Grant is the severity of the applicant's situation and the likely impact on them and their family.  The key test for a Community Care Grant is retaining or establishing a settled way of life in the community.

Will I get a grant if I apply?
The amount of funding each council gets to spend each year on the Scottish Welfare Fund is limited and, unfortunately, there is not enough money to assist everyone who applies.  Your application will therefore be given a high, medium or low priority rating according to your individual circumstances and needs.

Grants will be considered if you have no alternative means of paying for what you need and will be awarded according to your priority rating.

The Council will carry out checks to verify that there is a need for the items applied for.  These checks can include:

  • Obtaining confirmation from other departments and agencies involved in representing customers and or assisting them with their applications
  • Carrying out home visits prior to any award being made.

Who won't qualify?
You won't qualify for a grant if you:

  • Have made a claim for a DWP benefit and it is delayed, you can apply for a Short Term Benefit advance instead contact DWP enquiry line 0845 600 1506.
  • You have already received three crisis grants in the last 12 months, however in exceptional circumstances we may be able to consider a further one off payment.
  • Have already applied for the same item in the last 28 days unless your circumstances have changed.

Crisis Grant

A grant can be awarded to meet expenses that have arisen from an emergency or disaster. The purpose of the grant is to prevent serious damage or serious risk to the health or safety of the applicant or their family.  

Applying for a Crisis grant

To apply for a crisis grant, please call 0300 300 0204 (Monday-Thursday 8.45am to 4.15pm, Friday 8.45am-3.25pm). This is the best way to apply due to the urgency of your situation.

This line is open for enquiries only until 4.45 Monday - Thursday, and 3.55pm on Friday.

Once you have made your application, Renfrewshire Council will contact you within 2 working days to advise you of the decision.

If you would prefer not to phone, you can download an application form.

You can also get this application form from one of our customer service points.

Payment of Crisis Grant award

We can pay the sum of money directly to your bank account. If you don't have a bank account, we can give you a voucher that you can take to a local Paypoint outlet.

Community Care Grants

 

To qualify for a Community Care Grant, you must meet one of the following qualifying conditions:

  • You need help to establish yourself in the community following a period of care and there's a risk that without help, you won't be able to live independently.
  • You need help to remain in the community rather than going into care and there's a risk that without help, you won't be able to live independently.
  • You need help to set up home in the community as part of a planned resettlement programme (which could include support to help you sustain your tenancy), following an unsettled period in your life.
  • You are part of a family facing exceptional pressures e.g. a relationship breakdown resulting in a move.
  • You need to care for a prisoner or young offender on release who is being released on temporary licence.‚Äč

If you don't meet any of the conditions above the council may be able to make an award in exceptional circumstances.

If you qualify for a Community Care Grant, it is the council's policy that where possible, we'll provide you with the goods you need. 

Applying for a Community Care Grant

To apply, use our online application.

Alternatively, you can use our Self Service area in the Customer Service Centre in Paisley (Monday to Thursday, 8.45am - 4.45pm or Friday, 8.45m - 3.55pm). Or you can download an application form.

You can also get this application form from one of our customer service points.

Once you have made your Community Care Grant application, Renfrewshire Council will contact you within 15 working days to advise you of the decision.

Our Advice Works Team can help with your Community Care Grant application and can also offer other financial advice. Call their helpline on 0300 300 1238 (Monday-Friday 10am-4pm) to arrange an appointment.

Have you applied for a Crisis Grant or Community Care Grant and disagree with our decision?

You may have grounds for a review if:

  • You disagree with the decision about your eligibility, e.g: about your qualifying benefit or a repeat application.
  • You disagree with the priority given to your application.
  • You disagree with the level of support you have been awarded; for example if you think the award is too low or you have been awarded goods rather than cash.
  • You think that not enough information or evidence was gathered or used to assess your claim.

You will not have grounds for review if your application has been turned down because:

  • It is not a high enough priority for the available budget.
  • There is not enough budget for us to make an award.

Your written request for a review should be submitted within 20 working days of the original decision. It should include:

  • The reason for your request.
  • The date of the original decision.
  • Details of any change in your circumstances since your original application.

The request should be signed by the applicant, or the applicant should give their consent for someone else to act on their behalf.

An application review form is available to download. If you need help to fill out the form, please contact Advice Works on 0300 300 1238. Application reviews must be requested in writing.

The review process

 

First tier review:

  • We will review your original application, the evidence you provided, and any new information provided by the applicant.
  • The review will be carried out by a different decision-maker from your original application

Possible outcomes of a review:

  • The original decision is upheld.
  • The original decision is overturned and an award is made, or the type or value of the original award is changed.

Processing times for reviews:

 

Crisis Grant

Community Care Grant

First tier

Two working days

15 working days

Second tier review process

If you are still unhappy following a first tier review, you have the right to ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for an independent review.  The SPSO are not part of the council.

When can I ask for an independent review from SPSO?

You can ask for an independent review only after the council has given you their decision on their review.  You will receive a letter with the first tier review decision.

Is there a time limit for me to ask for an independent review?

You should ask the SPSO for an independent review within one month of receiving our decision on your first tier review.  In some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review after this.  You should contact the SPSO for advice.

How do I ask for an independent review?

You can ask the SPSO for an independent review over the phone or in writing. If you prefer, they will send you a form in the post, or you can print it off their website or fill it in online.  

How do I ask for an independent review?

You can ask the SPSO for an independent review over the phone or in writing. If you prefer, they will send you a form in the post, or you can print it off their website or fill it in online.

How to contact the SPSO:

  • By phone on 0800 014 7299. Calls are free to this number, even from mobiles.

  • Write to this address: FREEPOST SPSO. You don't need to use a stamp.

The SPSO can give you information in other languages or formats (such as large print, SMS, audio or Braille). In some cases, the SPSO may be able to meet you in person.

Find out more

You can find information on the Scottish Government website about community care grants and crisis grants. Or you can email the council directly on scottishwelfarefund@renfrewshire.gov.uk

 

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