Residents of Blackpool can seek help from the discretionary support scheme fund. There is a limited budget in place in which the council will provide financial aid to families on a low income or state benefits. The grants from the fund will prioritise health or safety issues, such as for food, housing expenses such as energy bills, or household goods.
When an award is provided by the local authorities, there will not be cash issued by the discretionary support scheme. Instead a pre-paid card will be loaded for paying certain bills. The money will be paid out in as little as 10 days.
Or the household will be provided with the household items they need, such as furniture or white goods. The authorities will decide the method of payment. Any funds are for short-term needs only and can help the family make it through an emergency.
Discretionary support scheme homeless prevention
Grants from welfare are combined with help from the Blackpool Housing Options Team. Welfare can be used to address a short term emergency and aims to keep a family together. The scheme will also keep older people living in their home.
Awards from the welfare scheme are combined with discretionary housing payments (DHP) for paying rent arrears. This means that for a family on a low income that is on benefits, but the monthly rent is higher that the government aid, DHP will pay the difference in those costs. When the support scheme comes in to help is if the tenant has a short term loss in wages, then the local welfare scheme may assist for a short period of time.
Other assistance from Blackpool welfare scheme
The council will also allow grants to help pay for other living expenses. All expenses need to be approved by the authorities, and a pre-paid card will be used instead of cash. Government funds can pay for energy bills, especially heating costs during the winter. In particular this will help keep a home warm and safe.
A crisis can also be caused by lack of food. While the council will signpost a resident to a local independent or Trussell Trust run food bank, if that is not an option, then assistance can be provided to help the family buy groceries. The amount of food will normally feed a family for a few days.
Other expenses paid by a grant include emergency travel, funeral costs, and other bills that need to be addressed for safety issues. The Blackpool council will decide this when a resident is applying.
To apply for Blackpool discretionary support scheme, all applications will be assessed by the authorities. They are under no obligation to provide help. Once the budget has been exhausted, then no other people can be assisted for that year.
Grants are given to families on allow income or benefits. Applicants will of course need to be local to Blackpool and need to have proof of income, expenses, and a budget. If a household does not qualify for benefits, but if they meet other criteria from the Social Security Persons from Abroad legislation, welfare grants may still be provided to them.
Priority is also for the vulnerable. There are several criteria which may satisfy this Blackpool council requirement, and they include someone with a disability or mental health condition. Priority is on the homeless, single mums with children, older people on state pensions, and people fleeing violence. Other criteria may qualify too.
Financial help from welfare can only be applied to once every 12 months. Grants are for dealing with short term bills and not aimed at preventing poverty. However the council can signpost a family to other resources if that is there need.
For more information on, or to apply for the welfare scheme, call the council office at 01253 477600.