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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 or 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
  • face going into care because you don't have the things you need to continue living at home
  • require help because you are struggling to provide a safe and secure home for your family
  • 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

Apply using our online application form.

application form

Alternatively, apply over the phone by calling us on 01389 737640.

Our phone lines are open – 

Monday to Thursday      8.45 to 4.45

Friday                              8.45 to 4.00

Saturday & Sunday         8.45 to 4.00

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 737640 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 2 working days for Crisis Grants and 15 working days for Community Care Grants.

If you remain dissatisfied with our decision following completion of the first review, you can ask the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman (SPSO) to consider your case.

You should request this review within one month of the first tier review decision. In some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review after this.

You should contact the SPSO for advice

  • For Crisis Grants, one working day from when they get all the information they need to make a decision.
  • For Community Care Grants, 21 working days from when they get all the information they need to make a decision

If the SPSO cannot keep to these times, they will let you know why.

The SPSO can be contacted on:

Freephone 0800 014 7299 for further advice and information.

FREEPOST SPSO - you do not need a stamp.


Websites: www.spso.org.uk/scottishwelfarefund

Challenging Decisions Guidance Leaflet