35,000 hardship grants paid to poorest Scottish families

  • Figures have revealed that a total of 35,000 hardship payments have been made to some of Scotland's poorest households over the past six months. Coins

    Figures revealed 27,000 households received 33,000 crisis grants from the Scottish welfare fund between April and September last year. Each award averaged £65 and was mostly for food and heating costs.

    11,300 households received 12,000 awards for community care grants. These averaged £600 per award and helped people stay in their home or move from an institutional organisation, reports Inside Housing.

    The Scottish welfare fund is intended for low-income families and individuals and was set up to replace the DWP's social fund which was removed in April last year.  

    One in five households who claimed from the Scottish welfare fund contained children, with one in seven having a vulnerability.

    Margaret Burgess, Scottish housing and welfare minister, said: ‘It is heart-breaking to see the impacts of welfare reforms laid bare, with people coming forward for help to buy everything from food to shoes to beds. This is the first report into how the Scottish welfare fund is being used and shows that demand for grants is increasing. These figures show over £18 million has now been claimed and we are expecting that to increase further as awareness of the fund grows. Today's report also highlights that there are still some variations between councils and we are working with them to ensure that is improved."

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    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1222895

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