Presentation on theme: "Local Welfare Provision"— Presentation transcript:
1 Local Welfare Provision Keeley Atkinson – Social Enterprise ManagerPaula Mustow – Local Welfare ProvisionService Manager
2 IntroductionAs 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 2013.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.
3 IntroductionMedway 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 emergencyNeed support to regain independence after a period in institutional careNeed support to regain a more settled way of lifeAre at risk of losing their independence and ending up in institutional care
4 IntroductionAn 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.
5 IntroductionWest 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.
6 Key Aims The key aims of the scheme are: To prevent serious risk to the health, wellbeing or safety of the most financially excluded residentsTo ease severe financial pressure on families in certain situations and build financial capabilityTo 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
7 Key AimsTo 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 sleepingTo give flexible practical help to those in genuine need
8 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 AwardsCommunity Support
9 Crisis awardsCrisis awards cover situations where a household has no means to meet an urgent need that presents a health or wellbeing riskUsually caused by an emergency, disaster, unforeseen circumstance or a pressing need that is different from the pressures generally associated with managing on a low incomeExamples of Crisis Need includeNo access to food or a source of energyFire or FloodingDomestic Abuse
10 Crisis Awards What does not count as a crisis: Minor mishaps or damage/failure of a household itemLost or spent moneyUnable to access savings or capitalBenefit disallowances or sanctions
11 Crisis Awards – Qualifying Criteria Key Qualifying Criteria:Must have been living in Medway for 1 yearBe 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 themselvesDemonstrate that no other person or organisation is able to meet their need (including DWP budgeting loan)Must show the need is exceptionalMust show the crisis is not self inflicted
12 Community/SupportAwards for community care are intended to help vulnerable people live independent lives to remain and become integrated within their community
13 Community/SupportAn 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 communityHelp for people to stay in the community rather than enter care.Help to ease exceptional pressuresHelp for a prisoner or young offender on home leave or release to re-adjust to life outside of prisonHelp for people to set up a home as part of a resettlement programme following a period without a settled way of life.
14 Support Award - Qualifying Criteria Key Qualifying Criteria:Must have been living in Medway for 1 yearBe 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 themselvesDemonstrate that no other person or organisation is able to meet their need (including DWP budgeting loan)
15 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 imminentlyThey 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 fraudulentThe 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
16 Allowable AwardsThe following items can be provided to eligible applicants:FoodClothingBaby Consumables (Nappies, Milk)Women’s Sanitary ProductsHeating and PowerFurnitureHousehold Starter Packs (Bedroom, Kitchen & Bathroom)
17 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 CreditTelevision, radio or satellite cost or repairHolidaysTravel expensesPhone costsPersonal debtsMotor vehicle expensesTV LicenceA need which occurs outside the United KingdomHousing 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
18 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 atIf a support worker is referring the applicant for assistance, they must complete their details during the application process.
22 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 SchemeWest Kent Extra67 Cuxton RoadRochesterME2 2BZor ed to:
23 How Do I Apply?Customers who require assistance or advice in respect of applications can call:
24 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.
25 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.
26 Evidence Requirements Proof of permanent residency within The Medway area.Type of acceptable evidenceTenancy 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.
27 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.
28 Evidence Requirements Proof of exceptional circumstancesWritten 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.
29 AppealsThe scheme operates an appeals process , all appeals must be made within 14 days of the decision. Appeals must be:Submitted in writingClearly set out the grounds for appealBe signed by the applicant or their representativeAll appeals are reviewed by a senior manager with full authority to reject the appeal or accept in and instigate a new course of actionAll appeals and their outcomes are reported to Medway Council.