Welfare schemes and government benefits in Bexley provide help to vulnerable individuals and families in poverty. The council has specialists who can advise people that are local to the borough on what type of financial aid they may be qualified. Or they will link the family to another programme in the area.
Most of the support for paying bills is the result of partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and their Social Fund, organisations such as Age UK Bexley, government aid from Warm Home Discount Scheme and other services. But the Bexley council will provide some of their own in-kind assistance as part of welfare.
Find help in Bexley
If a family needs help with their bills, they can drop in the centres. The post is Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA6 7AT. A specialist adviser will asses the individual’s needs. There will be an assessment done of their income, savings, and hardship situation. Based on that, the following welfare schemes may be provided.
Older people on a low income can get help from Age UK Bexley. The team will offer form filling service for welfare grants to pay heating bills, receive a wheelchair loan or give a parcel of groceries from the foodbank. There are other services provided in partnership with the authorities in the borough, and more information is at the day centre.
The Bexley council has also combined Winter Fuel Payments and the Warm Home Discount with their local welfare scheme. Since the specialist at the council office will assess what benefits the family on a low income is entitled too, they will help people apply for those winter programmess too.
Depending on which scheme (the payments or discount) the person is eligible for, they can be given between £140 – £300 for their energy bills. It combines either a discount or tax-free financial help pay some of the client’s heating costs. Many pensioners in the borough benefit from these winter assistance programmes.
Department for Work and Pensions is also a key partner of the local welfare scheme. The adviser will need proof that a budgeting loan was received by any applicant first. The funds from this can be used to pay for emergency living expenses. Only then may welfare be provided to the resident.
Welfare in the Bexley borough also includes housing and rent arrears help. The specialist adviser will give free advice on form filling for housing programmes. The authorities do not give each homeless person, or those in arrears, a home or aid, but rather offer linkage.
If the need is for rent help, then the discretionary housing payment can be used for future costs. There is also support for homeowners that are in Mortgage arrears, and advice is given to them as well. Note there is never cash given for those housing payments.
What may be provided from the Bexley local welfare schemes for housing needs is in-kind support. This will be when the council can give furniture or white goods for the home. They often do this in partnership with local stores run by charities, and families may be provided bedding, appliances, cribs, and similar goods.
The local welfare scheme will allow the person to pick up these goods for their flat or home. This will help a new tenant get started on the path to stability. It also allows them to save money so they can sustain their agreement and keep their bill paid on time.
For more information on welfare, or for referrals, then the contact centre can be called at 020 8303 7777. If the person local to Bexley is facing an emergency, then the application can be approved in as short as five business days, but this will also depend on what scheme was applied too.