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Fife Council - Update on the new Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant operating arrangements
With the upcoming Department of Work and Pensions roll out of universal credit in Fife on the 06 December 2017, the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) team anticipate that there will be an increase in Crisis Grants (CG) applications.
Currently the SWF team are open Monday to Friday with no provision at the weekend. They anticipate an increase in new crisis grant applications will have an adverse effect on decision making and call answering times. Increasingly they are receiving a number of applications on a Friday afternoon where they are unable to make a same day decision. The change to the opening times of phone lines will allow the SWF team to help the majority of customers in crisis the same day when they apply over the phone or online.
Whilst they are meeting Scottish Government statutory guidance timescales for awarding crisis grants they understand from a customer perspective, in some cases, this is not enabling them to get out of their current crisis situation over the weekend.
From Monday 04 December the SWF team will be changing the opening times of their phone lines to apply for crisis grants. They currently take calls between 11.00 am and 4.30 pm, this will change to calls for crisis grants being taken from 9.00 am until 2.30 pm Monday to Friday. However as per current arrangements customers can still apply for either a community care grant or a crisis grant online at any time.
Current arrangements for applying for a community care grant remain unchanged.
To allow the team to work quickly through application, they ask that you don’t call them to chase up or prioritise applications, all Scottish Welfare Funds should be a priority. They will contact you should they need more information.
Their Fife Direct page has just been revamped as part of the new Fife Council and partners ‘Welfare & Benefits’, this should provide a starting place for customers who need welfare advice.