Presentation on theme: "Local Welfare Provision Keeley Atkinson – Social Enterprise Manager Paula Mustow – Local Welfare Provision Service Manager."— Presentation transcript:
Local Welfare Provision Keeley Atkinson – Social Enterprise Manager Paula Mustow – Local Welfare Provision Service Manager
Introduction As part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, the old Discretionary Social Fund scheme administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was abolished on 1 April It was replaced by a combination of new schemes administered by Local Authorities and a new nationally administered ‘Short Term Benefit Advance’ and Budgeting Advances, which will continue to be administered by the DWP. The part of the grant previously allocated to the Discretionary Social fund was reduced and devolved to Local Authorities but was not ring-fenced. This means individual local authorities could choose how to best use this funding to support their local communities.
Introduction Medway Council chose to use this funding to support those people who are most financially vulnerable. This includes people who: Are in crisis due to a disaster or other emergency Need support to regain independence after a period in institutional care Need support to regain a more settled way of life Are at risk of losing their independence and ending up in institutional care
Introduction An initial pilot period of the project was operated by Caring Hands. In the summer of 2013 following a tender process West Kent Extra were appointed to operate the scheme until March 2015 with a option for a further two years dependant on continued devolution of funding from central to local government.
Introduction West Kent Extra is a registered charity working to build and support strong, inclusive and cohesive communities across Kent. West Kent Extra also work in close partnership with Kent County Council on their equivalent scheme.
Key Aims The key aims of the scheme are: To prevent serious risk to the health, wellbeing or safety of the most financially excluded residents To ease severe financial pressure on families in certain situations and build financial capability To help those, without the necessary means, to either establish themselves in the community as a transition from institutional care or to remain in their community
Key Aims To align with the homelessness strategy with the broad aims of preventing homelessness, developing alternative housing options, supporting vulnerable groups, promoting tenancy sustainment and ending rough sleeping To give flexible practical help to those in genuine need
The Local Welfare Provision Scheme The Local Welfare Provision Scheme (LWP) replaces the core elements of the old discretionary social fund and covers two elements, Crisis Awards Community Support
Crisis awards Crisis awards cover situations where a household has no means to meet an urgent need that presents a health or wellbeing risk Usually caused by an emergency, disaster, unforeseen circumstance or a pressing need that is different from the pressures generally associated with managing on a low income Examples of Crisis Need include No access to food or a source of energy Fire or Flooding Domestic Abuse
Crisis Awards What does not count as a crisis: Minor mishaps or damage/failure of a household item Lost or spent money Unable to access savings or capital Benefit disallowances or sanctions
Crisis Awards – Qualifying Criteria Key Qualifying Criteria: Must have been living in Medway for 1 year Be receiving, or be about to receive a benefit that will form part of Universal Credit or Pension Credit. Demonstrate they don’t have the resources to meet the need themselves Demonstrate that no other person or organisation is able to meet their need (including DWP budgeting loan) Must show the need is exceptional Must show the crisis is not self inflicted
Community/Support Awards for community care are intended to help vulnerable people live independent lives to remain and become integrated within their community
Community/Support An application may be considered for one of five categories of community care: Help for people leaving care or supported accommodation to establish themselves in the community Help for people to stay in the community rather than enter care. Help to ease exceptional pressures Help for a prisoner or young offender on home leave or release to re-adjust to life outside of prison Help for people to set up a home as part of a resettlement programme following a period without a settled way of life.
Key Qualifying Criteria: Must have been living in Medway for 1 year Be receiving, or be about to receive a benefit that will form part of Universal Credit or Pension Credit. Demonstrate they don’t have the resources to meet the need themselves Demonstrate that no other person or organisation is able to meet their need (including DWP budgeting loan) Support Award - Qualifying Criteria
Ineligible Applicants An applicant is automatically deemed ineligible for assistance through The Local Welfare Provision if they fail to meet the qualification criteria or: They are in hospital or a care home, unless their discharge is planned to take place imminently They are subject to immigration control by virtue of the Immigration and Asylum Act. They or a family member has received 2 awards within a 12 month rolling period The application is deemed fraudulent The applicant has been placed in temporary accommodation in Medway by another local authority. The applicant is a full-time or part-time student not on Welfare Benefits
Allowable Awards The following items can be provided to eligible applicants: Food Clothing Baby Consumables (Nappies, Milk) Women’s Sanitary Products Heating and Power Furniture Household Starter Packs (Bedroom, Kitchen & Bathroom)
Excluded Items and Services The following commonly requested support is not available through the LWP scheme: Costs normally met by state support or benefits including Universal Credit Television, radio or satellite cost or repair Holidays Travel expenses Phone costs Personal debts Motor vehicle expenses TV Licence A need which occurs outside the United Kingdom Housing costs (e.g. rent, mortgage payments or service charges) Repairs to a dwelling owned by a third party (e.g. private or social landlord) Rent in advance or rent deposits
How Do I Apply? All applications must be submitted through the online application form and applicant must agree to the application being made on their behalf. The online form can be found at If a support worker is referring the applicant for assistance, they must complete their details during the application process.
How Do I Apply?
Supporting evidence should be uploaded as part of the online application process. If the support worker or customer is unable to upload the relevant documents during the application process, the customer may bring or send the required evidence to the Local Welfare Provision Office in Strood. An appointment is required. LWP evidence may be sent via post to: Medway LWP Scheme West Kent Extra 67 Cuxton Road Rochester ME2 2BZ or ed to:
How Do I Apply? Customers who require assistance or advice in respect of applications can call:
How Do I Apply? Face to face interviews are not undertaken unless a prior application has been completed and the customer is providing the relevant evidence. In exceptional circumstances a customer may request a home visit from a Local Welfare Provision Officer who can arrange to inspect the relevant documents at a convenient time. An online application must be completed before a visit can take place and the customer must demonstrate why a home visit is required.
Evidence Requirements The following evidence is always required: Proof of being in receipt of a qualifying Benefit. Types of acceptable evidence. Benefit award letter – This will also be accepted as proof of address and identity. Current bank statement showing regular benefit payments being received into customer’s bank account. The statement should clearly show the customer’s NINO and type of benefit received. In exceptional circumstances a telephone conversation with appropriate Benefit Agency confirming circumstances. Customer will need to book an appointment at the LWP office.
Evidence Requirements Proof of permanent residency within The Medway area. Type of acceptable evidence Tenancy agreement combined with bank statement, recent utility bill, benefit award letter. New Tenancy agreement combined with proof of previous address from above list or statement from qualifying Support Worker, Probation Officer/Social worker.
Evidence Requirements Proof of savings/capital/alternative sources of income/support Bank statement covering the last 2 months transactions & up to date print out of the most recent transactions showing last source of income paid into account. Advisor will check the statement for alternative sources of income.
Evidence Requirements Proof of exceptional circumstances Written statement from, Support Worker, Social Worker, Probation Worker, Temporary Housing Officer, Occupational Therapist, Police reports, Court documents or any relevant paperwork held by the customer which supports their circumstances of exceptional need.
Appeals The scheme operates an appeals process, all appeals must be made within 14 days of the decision. Appeals must be: Submitted in writing Clearly set out the grounds for appeal Be signed by the applicant or their representative All appeals are reviewed by a senior manager with full authority to reject the appeal or accept in and instigate a new course of action All appeals and their outcomes are reported to Medway Council.