Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) replaced elements of the UK Government’s Social Fund that were devolved in 2013. It provides grants for people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants. The Scottish Government provides funding to local authorities who then award the discretionary payments. Our forecast only covers the funding provided by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government currently sets the annual budget for the SWF at £35.5 million and has not informed us of any further plans to change the level of funding beyond 2023-24. We do not assess the demand for the Scottish Welfare Fund or whether the funding from the Scottish Government is reasonable.

From October 2020 through to January 2023, local authorities delivered Self-Isolation Support Grants (SISG) through the Scottish Welfare Fund. We present this spending separately, as the Scottish Government provided demand-led funding in addition to the main SWF budget.