Welfare funds

1Welfare funds

Each local authority is to maintain a fund (called a “welfare fund”) comprising—

(a)any grants paid into the fund by the Scottish Ministers, and

(b)any amounts paid into the fund by the local authority.

2Use of welfare funds: assistance for short term need and community care

(1)A local authority may use its welfare fund only in order to provide occasional financial or other assistance to or in respect of individuals for the purposes of—

(a)meeting, or helping to meet, an immediate short term need—

(i)arising out of an exceptional event or exceptional circumstances, and

(ii)that requires to be met to avoid a risk to the wellbeing of an individual, or

(b)enabling qualifying individuals to establish or maintain a settled home.

(2)“Qualifying individuals” means individuals who have been or, without the assistance, might otherwise be—

(a)in prison, hospital, a residential care establishment or other institution, or

(b)homeless or otherwise living an unsettled way of life.

(3)The assistance which a local authority may use its welfare fund to provide does not include making loans.

(4)A local authority may exercise its power under subsection (1) by making a payment to a third party with a view to the third party providing, or arranging the provision of, goods or services to or in respect of an individual.