Applying for a crisis grant
You can apply for a crisis grant if you're on a low income, and cannot afford essentials in an emergency.
Check if you can get a grant
You’re eligible if you’re 16 or over, and on a low income.
You do not have to be getting any benefits to receive a grant.
If you’ve received a crisis grant before
Unless your circumstances have changed, you usually cannot get:
more than 1 grant within 28 days
more than 3 crisis grants within 12 months
What you can use the grant for
The crisis grant can cover costs in an emergency, including:
food, clothing or heating costs
if there’s a fire or flood in your home
getting your gas or electricity reconnected
living expenses while you wait for a first benefit payment
You cannot use the grant for rent or a deposit.
How to apply for a grant
Apply for the grant through your local council.
Check where to apply on mygov.scot.
Most councils will tell you their decision within 2 days. If it’ll take longer, the council should tell you when you apply.
If your application is refused
You can ask the council to review their decision. You should:
write to the council within 20 days of the decision
explain why you think their decision was wrong
send the letter to the address on your decision letter
The council should let you know the outcome of the review within 15 days.
If you need help getting a review, contact a benefits adviser at Citizens Advice.
Other help that is available
To pay for household items, clothing and moving costs, apply for a community care grant.
If you’re getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and need help with rent or a deposit, apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
There may be other charitable grants available. Use Turn2Us to search for grants in your area.
If you get certain benefits and need help with unexpected costs, you can apply for a budgeting loan or budgeting advance. Because these are loans, you'll need to pay the money back.
If you're struggling in an emergency, help is available. Check Citizens Advice’s emergency help on a low income.
You can search for a foodbank in your area on the Trussell Trust website. Ask the foodbank to tell you which local organisations can give you a referral voucher.
You can also search for an independent food bank on the Independent Food Aid Network website.
Last updated: 4 October 2022