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Publication - Guidance

Scottish Welfare Fund: statutory guidance June 2018

Published: 1 Jun 2018
Directorate:
Social Security Directorate
Part of:
Equality and rights, Public sector
ISBN:
9781788519687

The Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) aims to provide a safety net to people on low incomes through Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

70 page PDF

700.7 kB

70 page PDF

700.7 kB

Contents
Scottish Welfare Fund: statutory guidance June 2018
Addendum

70 page PDF

700.7 kB

ISBN 9781 78851 968 7 (Web only publication)
PPDAS 425306

This document is also available in pdf format (701KB)

Addendum

An addendum was published on 16/07/2018 at pdf page 31, section 6. Qualifying Conditions / Exclusions. The following sentence was added to the end of paragraph 6.5:
Any travel awards will count towards three grants in a 12 month period.

Errata

An erratum was published on 16/07/2018 at pdf page 52, section 9. Review. The second bullet point at paragraph 9.9 has been updated to read:
be made in writing and be signed by the applicant or emailed using a recognisable email address unless the local authority considers there are exceptional circumstances, for example, disability, health issue or problems with literacy

An errata was published on 12/06/2018 at pdf page 42, section 8. Community Care Grants. Text has been updated to read:
8.6 Applicants may be awarded a Community Care Grant if they are leaving accommodation in which they received significant and substantial care, supervision or protection and are establishing themselves in the local community. They should normally have been receiving care in a prison, hospital, local authority or other setting for a period of three months or more, or have a pattern of frequent or regular admission to institutional or residential care clearly linked to the nature of the applicant’s disability or circumstances. The Welfare Fund (Scotland) Regulations specify that the length of time the applicant has received care should be a period of three months or more, any part of which falls within the period of nine months preceding the date of application or the applicant should have been in a care institution for two or more separate periods within the nine months preceding the date of application.

8.9 Applicants may be awarded a Community Care Grant if this will help them to stay in the community, rather than enter accommodation to receive care. One of the factors the local authority will wish to consider is how immediate the likelihood is of going in to such accommodation, and whether the type of item or service requested would prevent this happening. It is difficult to set boundaries around what constitutes an immediate risk and what should be taken into account, as each application is different and should be considered on its own merit based on the facts provided.

An errata was published on 05/06/2018 at pdf page 24, section Administration / Applicant Journey. Text has been updated to read:
4.44 Some examples where it may be of advantage to the applicant to receive a grant in another manner include the provision of travel vouchers or fuel cards to meet a specific need or white goods, such as cookers and fridges, in the case of disaster.
If awards are not collected or there is no contact from the applicant, in these circumstances it would not count as one of their 3 awards in 12 months.

Last paragraph of 4.46 has been updated to read: If awards are not collected or there is no contact from the applicant within 28 days of grant notification being issued then it should be withdrawn. In these circumstances it would not count as an award. Exceptions to this may be, for example, if there has been a period in hospital. Local authorities should treat any potential exceptional circumstance on a case by case basis.

The pdf and html have both been updated within the document to reflect this change.

Contents

1. Introduction

2. Purpose Of The Scottish Welfare Fund
Crisis Grants
Community Care Grants
Users of the Scottish Welfare Fund
A Holistic Approach
Sharing Best Practice
Local Authority Responsibility as Corporate Parents
Other agencies
Links to DWP Benefits and other payments
Where an applicant is seeking to make an application for a Crisis Grant and has an outstanding benefit claim
Sanctions and Disallowances

3. Financial Management Of Welfare Funds

4. Administration / Applicant Journey
Residence of applicants
How applications are made
Support for Applications
Gathering Evidence and Demonstrating Proper Consideration
Appropriate, robust recording of decision and reasons
Communicating the decision
Prisoners
How grants are fulfilled
Supervised Spend
Consistency in awards
Food banks
Charging items to the budget
Data Sharing
Fraud / misuse of goods

5. The Decision Making Process
Recording applications
Conditions which should be met for an applicant to be awarded a grant

6. Qualifying Conditions / Exclusions
Exclusions for both Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants
Travel Expenses
Applicants subject to immigration control

7. Crisis Grants
Circumstances in which a Crisis Grant may be awarded
Eligibility
Income and Capital
If the applicant has savings or capital
Exclusions for Crisis Grants
Rates for crisis grant awards for living expenses
What Constitutes an Emergency?
What Constitutes a Disaster?
What support will be given
Target Processing Times

8. Community Care Grants
Eligibility
Income and Capital
If the applicant has savings or capital
Exclusions for Community Care Grants
Target Processing Times

9. Review
First tier Review

10. The Role Of The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) – Independent Review And Complaints Handling
Independent Second Tier Review
SPSO Complaint Handling

11. Data Monitoring

Annex A: Exclusions From Crisis And Community Care Grants

Annex B: Payments To Be Disregarded For Calculating Savings

Annex C: Factors That Might Increase The Vulnerability Of An Applicant

Annex D: Template For Recording Justification For Decision

Annex E: Template For Recording Justification For 1 st Tier Review Decision


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