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Scottish Welfare Fund helps nearly 204,000 households

Published: 26 Jul 2016 09:34

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Nearly 204,000 households have been helped by the Scottish Welfare Fund, since the scheme began in April 2013. During the first three years of operation, around £97.9 million has been allocated, providing a safety net to households in a disaster or emergency and helping people set up home or stay in the community rather than being in care.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today released statistics on the Scottish Welfare Fund covering 2015/16 and previous financial years dating back to 1 April 2013. The statistics showed that of nearly 204,000 households helped to 31 March 2016, almost 111,000 were single people and over 67,000 were families with children.

The Scottish Welfare Fund comprises of Community Care Grants – which help people to live independently – and Crisis Grants, which provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency. Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2016, around 127,000 Community Care Grants were awarded. The awards were typically for floor coverings, white goods and furnishings. During the same time period, around 287,000 Crisis Grants were awarded. Most Crisis Grant expenditure was on food, essential heating costs and other living expenses.

For the latest year – 2015/16 – a total of £33.4 million was awarded through the Scottish Welfare Fund, and this was 95% of the £35 million available (£33 million plus £2 million underspend carried forward from 2014/15).

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/swf

This publication contains: an overview of who has been helped by the scheme; details on the processing times for applications; information on what the Scottish Welfare Fund has been spent on and household analyses. Local Authority analyses and details of the review process are also provided.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

On 1 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) abolished two elements of the Social Fund - Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans - and transferred funds previously spent on them to Scottish Ministers. In its place, the Scottish Government established the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF). The Scottish Welfare Fund is a national scheme run by local authorities, based on guidance from Scottish Ministers. The guidance has been developed in partnership with COSLA, Local Authorities and other stakeholders.