Community care grant and crisis grant

Scottish Welfare Fund review

If you don’t agree with our decision on your Community Care Grant or Crisis Grant then you can request a review.

The review process is split into two stages.

Stage one - First Tier Review

If you would like to request a First Tier Review, you must do this within 4 weeks (20 working days) of the date of your original decision letter, though we may use our discretion to allow later applications.

Your request should be in writing and addressed to the Customer Advice and Support Service, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells, TD6 0SA and explain the reason for your request and include:

  • The date and reference number from your letter.
  • The reasons why you do not think the right decision was made on the application. For example, this might be because:
    • You do not agree that you are not eligible for the Scottish Welfare Fund, or
    • You do not agree that you do not qualify for a Grant, or
    • You do not agree with the priority level given to your circumstances, or refused items, or
    • You do not agree with the award, or award amount, that has been made, or
    • You do not think we took all the relevant information in to account, or
    • You think that there has been an error or failure in the decision making process.
  • There is additional information that you did not give us when you made your application which you think might make a difference to our decision.  Please phone the Customer Advice and Support Service on 0300 100 1800 to find out more about this if you are not sure.
  • Information on any changes to your circumstances since the application which might make a difference to our decision.
  • Your signature.  If someone is making a review request for you, you must sign the letter giving your agreement for the Review to proceed.

The First Tier Review allows for your case to be considered by a decision maker who was not involved in the original decision. This gives the decision maker an opportunity to reconsider the original decision, based on a thorough look at the evidence and any new information that has been provided when the review was requested.

The person carrying out the review will re-consider the merits of your application.

The decision maker carrying out the first tier review may need to gather additional information or evidence to enable them to reconsider your application.

The outcome of your review will be communicated in writing or by telephone:

Crisis Grant First Tier Reviews will be dealt with within 2 working days.

Community Care Grant First Tier Reviews will be dealt with within 15 working days.

Stage two - Independent review

If you are still not happy once you receive the decision on your First Tier Review, you have the right to ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) for an independent review.  The SPSO are not part of the Council. Please be aware that the SPSO can only undertake an independent review if you have had a first tier review that has been refused by the Local Authorities Scottish Welfare Fund. Should the SPSO receive a request for a review that has not been subject to a First Tier Review you will be referred back to your Local Authority.

You should ask the SPSO for an independent review within one month of receiving our decision on your first tier review, in some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review after this.  You should contact the SPSO for advice.

You can ask the SPSO for an independent review over the phone or in writing. If you prefer, they will send you a form in the post, or you can print it off their website or fill it in online. 

How to contact the SPSO:

  • By phone on 0800 014 7299. Calls are free to this number, even from mobiles.
  • Write to this address: FREEPOST SPSO. You don’t need to use a stamp.
  • SPSO website

The SPSO can give you information in other languages or formats (such as large print, SMS, audio or Braille). In some cases, the SPSO may be able to meet you in person.