The number of people in Aberdeen applying for crisis grants has almost doubled compared to last year.
Figures released by the Scottish Government show there was a 45% increase in the number of crisis grants sought by people living in Aberdeen between April and June this year, compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Crisis grants are designed to cover the costs of an emergency, such as fire or flood at home, an unexpected situation, victims of domestic abuse who need help with things like moving away from an abuser, a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, or if you are facing a gap in income due to redundancy or change at work.
Only those on low incomes are eligible for crisis grants, which are administered through the Scottish Welfare Fund.
A total of 4,715 applications from the city were made, compared to 4,235 from January to March this year, and 3,245 in April to June 2019.
The largest cited reason for looking for a grant in Aberdeen was due to an “emergency”, with around 4,140 requests due to this.
A further 555 people said the grant was needed due to a delay in the payment of benefits, while around 10 were due to disaster.
In Aberdeenshire, there was also a rise in the number of applications made, with 1,555 made from April to June, a 15% increase on the same total the year before. In April to June 2019, the same figure was 1,350.
The first quarter of the year, from January to March, saw 1,750 applications.
For the region, again emergency was the most common reason for requiring a grant, with 1,385 applications.
A total of 75 were due to the delay in payment of benefit, while around 5 were due to disaster.
In Scotland, there was a 46% rise in crisis grants sought, with 74.495 applications made.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “These latest figures demonstrate that we were right to ensure our Scottish Welfare Fund was increased – just one of many actions taken to ensure there is additional financial support to people coping with the economic impacts of coronavirus.
“The leading reason people apply for emergency help is that their benefits or other income has been spent.
“We are introducing the Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty head on, opening for applications next month, with the first payments to start from February 2021.
“Together with the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, this will provide over £5,200 of financial support for families by the time their first child turns six – and more than £4,900 for second and subsequent children.”