Around 700 vulnerable people living in Dumfries and Galloway are in danger of missing out on a £350 welfare payment because the council cannot reach them.
Nearly 3,600 individuals who have previously received a crisis grant or had been living in temporary homeless accommodation last year are entitled to the cash after the local authority received nearly £2.2m in Covid recovery funding from the Scottish Government.
However, there has only been an uptake of 80 percent - and the fund was originally scheduled to close on Wednesday.
The matter was discussed at the council's communities committee last week where Abbey Councillor Kim Lowe said: "I was doing a cost of living surgery on Tuesday and a couple of people that came in arrived with the letter and were really dubious about the letter saying 'we'd like to give you an extra grant of £350', and requesting them to put in their bank details."
She added: "I know we're time limited on this, but I just want reassurance that everything is being done to identify the households and try to contact them in a number of different ways."
Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall said he was "concerned" so many people could miss out on this vital payment at a time when they need it most.
Council Lorna Campbell, manager of revenues and benefits, said: "We have lettered everyone where we have a permanent address, we have emailed everybody where we have an email address, and we have done that on a number of occasions.
"The scheme went live in the middle of June where we contacted everybody. We did it again at the beginning of July and beginning of August.
"We plan to do it again this week. Some of the difficulty we have around 700 we think are potentially eligible but haven't applied is that for a lot of them we do not have current addresses.
"Because of the qualifying criteria in accessing the Scottish Welfare Fund or homelessness, the nature of some of these clients is they are transient. Therefore, where we don't have an address the uptake is limited.
"There's about 250 of those currently outstanding where we know we have a current address because we cross-match it with their council tax records."
She added: "I appreciate some people don't want to apply online, but they can do it through the council phone number."
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