NEARLY a third of low income households have been forced to use emergency funding.

A million homes were surveryed which revealed they had to use the cash to help with the costs of essentials such as food and heating in the past six years.

The Scottish Welfare Fund has paid out in excess of £190 million to more than 326,000 households since its first payment on 1 April 2013.

Grants are also given to people facing disaster or emergency situations like flooding.