1. Local Welfare Provision
The discretionary elements of the Social Fund have been transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to local authorities from April 2013. Crisis loans and community care grants, which were part of the social fund, have been stopped.
In the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead we are operating a scheme called 'Local Welfare Provision'. Awards for support or emergency needs are discretionary. This means that the council has the choice as to whether to make an award and will considered.
The DWP will continue to deal with other parts of the social fund:
- Budgeting loans
- Short term benefit advances
- Sure start maternity grants
- Funeral payments
- Cold weather payments
- Winter fuel payments.
Applicants who are tenants of Housing Associations or any other Social Landlords should apply in the first instance to their Landlords, who may be able to offer the assistance and support required.
There are a number of differences between the DWP Social Fund scheme and the borough's Local Welfare Provision.
- Applications must be submitted online or, where the need arises, an application form can be downloaded and submitted via post or in person
- The awards will not be loans
- The awards will normally be as goods, services or vouchers
- Applicants will be encouraged to engage with a support service, such as Social Services; or other services that are able to provide relevant support i.e. the Citizens Advice Bureau
- There will be no right to appeal, as this is a wholly discretionary fund
- Applicants are limited to one award with the expectation that upon receiving this, you will be signposted to organisations that offer further assistance
The Local Welfare Provision will include crisis support for items or services in the event of a disaster, and community care grants that may be awarded to help you return to, or remain in the community after a period of care or exceptional family pressures.
Upon application, we will consider whether the request meets the criteria for Local Welfare Provision, and that there are still funds available. Applicants are limited to 1 award with the expectation that upon receiving this, the applicant will be signposted to organisations that offer further assistance or services that will prevent the need to make subsequent applications.