Latest Scottish Welfare Statistics published

Latest Scottish Welfare Statistics published

Local authorities received 121,090 applications for Discretionary Housing Payments from April 2020 to February 2021 and had spent or committed to spend £74.2 million, according to new figures on the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF).

Discretionary Housing Payments are awarded by local authorities when a housing benefit or Universal Credit (including the housing element) claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs.

The total represents 94% of the £78.9m budget for awards in 2020/21.

Elsewhere, local authorities awarded 1,681 Self-Isolation Support Grants in February 2021 totalling £840,500. The rate of awards to applications was 42%, which was 10% higher than the previous month.

The Self-Isolation Support Grant is a £500 payment available for low income workers who are asked to self-isolate because of coronavirus and would lose income as a result.

As the eligibility criteria for the Self-Isolation Support Grant was extended on 16 February 2021, these are the first statistics that cover this change.

The SWF includes Community Care Grants – which help people to live independently – and Crisis Grants, which provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency.

Applications for Community Care Grants increased with local authorities receiving around 8,000 in February 2021 and spending around £3.7m (10% and 26% more than the previous month respectively). Applications for Crisis Grants decreased with around 23,200 applications and spending around £1.9m (22% and 27% less than the previous month).

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