The Scottish Welfare Fund is a new service provided by councils from 1 April 2013.  It replaces the discretionary Social Fund provided by the Department for Works and Pensions.

The Scottish Welfare Fund will offer 2 new grants.

Crisis Grants

A crisis grant may be available if you need help with costs that have arisen as a result of a disaster or emergency, to keep you and your family safe from harm. You may be in crisis because of a disaster like a fire or flood, or an emergency such as losing all your money our having to visit a sick child in hospital.

Community Care Grants

Community care grants may be available to you if:

  • you are about to leave care to live on your own in the community
  • you face going into care because you don't have the things you need to continue living at home
  • you require help because you are struggling to provide a safe and secure home for your family
  • you need help to get essential household items like a cooker or washing machine but don't have the money to buy it

How to apply

It is best to apply online using our online application form or you can apply over the phone by calling us on 01389 737640.

Online application form

Other social fund payments

The DWP are still dealing with certain payments which include:

  • Sure Start maternity grants
  • Funeral payments
  • Cold weather payments
  • Winter fuel payments
  • Budgeting loans
  • Short-term advances of benefit

Pay point

Awards for Crisis Grants will be paid using Pay Point and further details will be given to you when you are told of the award.

Click the link to find your nearest Pay Point location

How to appeal a decision

If you disagree with our decision on your application for assistance via the Scottish Welfare Fund, please call us on 01389 737000 and we will explain the decision to you.

Or you can ask us to review the decision. If you would like to request a review, you must do so within 20 working days from the date of our decision.  Please write to -

West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Welfare Fund, Garshake Road, Dumbarton, G82 3PU

Your initial review request should be in writing, signed and should give:

  • The date and reference number from your letter
  • The reasons why you do not think the right decision has been made
  • Any additional information that you feel relevant to your application

This initial review will be completed by a different decision maker within team and we will aim to let you know the results of your review within 5 working days for Crisis Grants and 20 working days for Community Care Grants.

If you still disagree with our decision after this initial review, you can ask for it to be reviewed again by an independent panel. If you would like to request a second review, you should do this within 20 working days, from the date of the initial review decision.This second review request should be in writing and should give:

  • The date and reference number from your letter
  • The reasons why you do not think the right decision was made

We will pass all the paperwork to the independent panel who will meet and consider your request.  They will meet within 5 working days of your request and you will be notified in writing of their decision.

If you remain dissatisfied with our decision following completion of the first and second reviews, you can ask the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsmen (SPSO) to consider your case. The SPSO can be contacted on Freephone 0800 377 7330 for further advice and information.