Although the primary income-related benefit, Universal Credit, is paid by the UK Government, we fund a number of additional benefits to give low-income households extra support.
Scottish Welfare Fund
We created the Scottish Welfare Fund to replace elements of the Social Fund, which was abolished by the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions in 2013.
Delivered on our behalf by local councils, the Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for vulnerable people on low incomes by providing Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.
From April 2013 to September 2016 we spent £115 million providing Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants to nearly 230,000 low-income households in Scotland.
Discretionary Housing Payments and the Bedroom Tax
From 2018, our new social security powers will enable us to cancel out the 'bedroom tax' for more than 70,000 households.
We are taking full responsibility for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs), which are sums paid to Housing Benefit recipients who need additional help to meet their rent payments. These are paid at the discretion of the claimant's local authority.
This enables us to raise DHP funding by £7.7 million in 2018, making a total of £57.9 million available to local authorities to be split as follows:
- £47 million to cancel out the Bedroom Tax for more than 70,000 households, up from £45.2 million in 2017
- £10.9 million to help mitigate other UK Government policies, such as the Benefit Cap and Local Housing Allowance rates, up from £4.8 million in 2017