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Community care grants

Community care grants are to help people on income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment or support allowance or pension credit who need extra financial help to live independently or continue living independently. The funding is from the Scottish welfare fund.

What are community care grants?

Community care grants are awarded by local councils. You can apply for a community care grant to help with the cost of setting up home or staying in your home. For example, you could use a community care grant to pay for:

  • furniture
  • bedding
  • connection charges for utilities such as gas and electricity
  • removal costs
  • clothing
  • household equipment
  • certain essential travel expenses (for example, to go to a funeral or visit someone who is ill).

If you get a community care grant you won't have to pay it back.

Who can apply for a community care grant?

There is no automatic right to a community care grant. It can be difficult to get one but it is worth applying. You may be eligible for a community care grant if you:

  • are 16 and over, and
  • are on a low income or getting universal credit, income support, income based jobseeker's allowance, income based employment and support allowance or either guarantee or savings pension credit on the day you apply, or
  • are leaving care and expect to be entitled to these benefits when you leave any of the institutions listed below.

Community care grants may be available for one of these reasons:

  • to help people establish themselves in the community after being in care, where there's a risk they won't be able to live independently without receiving support
  • to help people stay in their community instead of going into care, where there's a risk they wouldn't be able to live independently without this support
  • to help people set up home in the community as part of a resettlement plan
  • to help families under exceptional pressure pay for irregular costs to ensure their children live in a safe environment
  • to help people care for a prisoner or young offender on release on temporary license
  • to pay for travel expenses to visit someone who is ill, or to attend a relative's funeral
  • to pay your rent if you are between 18-21 years old and not entitled to the housing cost element of universal credit.

If you are part of a couple, whoever is claiming the benefit has to make the claim. If you have more than £700 in savings between you (or £1,200 if one of you is over 60) the amount you get will be reduced.

Applying for a community care grant

Community care grants are given out by your local council. Find out how to make a claim to your local council on the Scottish Government's website.

My community care grant application was refused

If your application for a community care grant is refused or if it is partially successful and you are not happy with the amount awarded, you can ask your local council to review its decision. To do this, you must:

  • apply in writing
  • apply within 20 days of the date the decision was given
  • explain clearly the reasons why you think the decision was unfair.

Your local council will arrange for a different decision maker from the one who refused the grant to review your claim. They should let you know their decision within 15 working days. If the local council does not change its mind when it reviews the decision, you can ask them to look at it again. You need to apply to do this within 20 working days of being notified of the first review decision.

If you need advice on your application and want to ask for a review, get advice immediately. It is often difficult to get decisions about the social fund changed, but an adviser could help you increase your chances of getting a grant.

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This content applies to Scotland only.
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