Crisis grants and community care grants

There are two grants available from the Scottish Welfare Fund. They are for one-off needs not on-going expenses. They do not have to be paid back.

Crisis Grant

A Crisis Grant can be given to cover the costs of an emergency.

Some examples include:

  • if there's been a fire or flood at home
  • you're a victim of any type 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

Community Care Grant

A Community Care Grant can be given to help with the costs of:

  • settling into life outside care
  • giving you help if you need support to stay out of care
  • caring for someone on release from prison or a detention centre

You can also apply for a community care grant if you're a family who are facing a problem at home, like:

  • settling into a new home after you've been in a temporary home
  • you need to move because of a problem like domestic abuse
  • a child's health is at risk

Who can apply

To apply for either grant you must:

  • be aged 16 or over
  • have a low income or don't have access to your money

You will not qualify for either grant if you:

  • have other money that you can use for the things you need
  • have applied for a Crisis Grant or Community Care Grant for the same items within the last 28 days and your circumstances have not changed

You will not qualify for a Crisis Grant if you:

  • have had three grants awarded to you in the last 12 months and your circumstances haven't changed

You will not qualify for a Community Care Grant if you:

  • have savings of £700 or more and are under pension age
  • have savings of £1200 or more and are over pension age
  • are not leaving care within eight weeks or have not been in care for three months or more

A Crisis Grant/Community Care Grant cannot be awarded for items such as:

  • court fees
  • items for education
  • work related expenses
  • debt interest
  • rent in advance

Apply

apply for a crisis or community care grant

You can also apply for a grant by:

  • calling ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778,
  • speaking to a member of housing benefits staff at an ACCESS office. There are ACCESS offices in Arbroath, Forfar and Montrose

Our Welfare Rights team offer support and advice on money and debt issues. Contact us to ensure you are receiving all the benefits you're entitled to.

If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and are struggling to pay your rent, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. You can also apply for a Budgeting Loan from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Payments

Payments will go directly into your bank account or you may receive goods or vouchers.

If you disagree with our decision on your application please call us on 01241 438402 for an explanation.

You can also ask us to review our decision within 20 working days from the date the decision was made, by writing to the Scottish Welfare Fund Team, PO Box 6621, Bruce House, Wellgate, Arbroath DD11 9AX.

Please include:

  • the date and reference number from your letter
  • the reasons why you do not think the right decision has been made
  • information which you did not give us when you filled in your application but which you think might make a difference to our decision
  • 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

This initial review will be completed by an impartial member of staff.

We will aim to let you know the results of your review within:

  • two working days of receiving your request for Crisis Grants
  • 15 working days for Community Care Grants

If you are unhappy with our decision, you have the right to ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for an independent review. The SPSO are not part of the council.

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

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.
  • Website: www.spso.org.uk/scottishwelfarefund

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.

Turn2Us

Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. For more information visit the Turn2Us website.

Charity Search

Charity Search is a free service which helps older people in financial need access support from variety of charitable sources. For information visit the Charity Search website.

Family Fund

The Family Fund gives grants to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child aged 17 or under, dependant on the parent or carer’s income. For more information visit the Family Fund website.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau offers free debt management and money advice services. Visit the Angus Citizens Advice Bureau website for more information.

Capital Credit Union

Capital Credit Union offers a variety of savings options that can help you to manage your money. For more information visit the Capital Credit Union website.

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service offers free, unbiased advice on maintaining a budget, debt, borrowing, credit, insurance and general day-to-day money matters. For more information visit the Money Advice Service website.

Furniture and household items

For details on local organisations offering help with furniture and household items visit our recycling pages.

Angus Care and Repair

Helps elderly and disabled Angus residents save money on their energy bills and can assist with home repairs, adaptations and improvements. For more information visit the Angus Care and Repair website

Energy Saving Trust Scotland

The Energy Saving Trust Foundation gives impartial and accurate advice about heating and insulating your home, saving energy and cutting costs. For more information visit the Energy Saving Trust Scotland website.

Food parcels

If you find yourself in serious financial difficulty or suffer a family emergency, a food parcel could provide short term help. For further details please contact 01241 438402.

Housing Advice

For information on your housing options visit our housing pages.

Shelter

Offers help to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. Visit the Shelter website for more information.

Carers

Angus Carers Centre provides information, advice and a range of services to carers located in Angus. For more information visit the Angus Carers Centre website.

Funeral Payments, Cold Weather Payments, Winter Fuel Payments and Maternity Grants

The Department for Work and Pensions can provide assistance for Funeral Payments, Cold Weather Payments, Winter Fuel Payments and Maternity Grants.

People on very low incomes may also be eligible to claim a Budgeting Advance which provides an interest free alternative to high cost lending for emergency and unforeseen expenses.

For further details about these payments, please contact your local Jobcentre Plus.