Scottish Welfare Fund news - February 2024

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During January we:

  • responded to 84 enquiries
  • made 67 decisions
    • 21 community care grants
    • 46 crisis grants
  • upheld 43% of community care grants and 13% of crisis grants
  • signposted an additional 142 applicants to other sources of assistance. 72% of these were calling us instead of their local council in error. 29 applicants told us that they had issues getting in touch with their council as there was no freephone number, or the phone line was busy
  • received six enquiries from local council liaison contacts seeking advice on the guidance

Case studies

During January we provided feedback on cases where we assessed that the requirement to treat applicants with dignity and respect had not been met. This concerned statements and language used in case notes and decision letters.

Dignity and respect

C requested an independent review of the Council's decision on their community care grant. C applied for redecoration costs for their child’s room as their home had sustained water damage as a result of a storm. 

The Council initially declined the application as they assessed that redecoration costs are excluded. The first tier decision maker (in the Council) assessed that redecoration costs are not excluded, but decided that the qualifying criteria had not been met. 

We reviewed the Council's file and corresponded with C. We noted that C's child was neurodivergent and had learning difficulties. We also took into account that being unable to make use of their bedroom was impacting on their living conditions. We assessed that the 'exceptional pressure' criteria was met, and that redecoration costs met the necessary priority level. We provided the Council with feedback on exclusions, assessing the qualifying criteria and their letters. We also provided feedback that their case notes included remarks about the applicant that were not in line with treating applicants with dignity and respect.

You can find more case studies in the searchable directory on our website.

Updated: February 21, 2024