Residents in the city of Bradford that are on a low income can get help from Discretionary Support Payments. The council provides this support for families faced with a one time crisis only, and vouchers can be used for a number of bills or needs. Any assistance is at the discretion of the council, and grants are normally provided in lieu of cash.
The grants from the Bradford Council can be used for emergency situations. The aim is to assist the vulnerable so they can remain living independently. Another use of the funds is to address a one time crisis, and the Discretionary Support Payments (DSP) will in effect provide the resident time to implement a long term solution.
Each application is assessed by the team at the Metropolitan District Council of Bradford. They will ensure the applicant is in dire straits and facing a crisis. Other criteria will be to ensure the person is on a low income or benefits. This will include Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension or Universal Credits, or Income Support. Or in some cases DSP can help someone facing a crisis, even if they are not on benefits.
The council team will determine what a grant can be used to pay for, and some examples of assistance provided by DSP is below.
- Funds will support vulnerable residents or tenants to help them remain living in their current home. Or the scheme can help them move to a new location in Bradford.
- Health and safety concerns are addressed, such as free food parcels to a family facing hunger or pre-paid cards for utility bills.
- Household goods such as furniture or white goods.
- Low income seniors living in a cold home can receive grants for their heating costs.
The team will only approve certain expenses to be paid, and they will tell the applicant what bills the grant will cover. In some cases, only a small portion of the need will be addressed, as the council will want the applicant to contribute as well.
Exceptions will be made too. If the individual is to be given furniture, then a voucher is used for a shop. Or food needs are usually addressed in the form of a voucher to local Bradford food banks. While cash is rarely used, if they are paying money, this will be done using PayPoint or a transfer to a bank account at a credit union.
The application process will normally take several days, and as long as 20 in some cases. However, if the applicant has a health or safety issue, then the Bradford Council will try to make a decision within 2 days. When applying, the person should have proof of income, the crisis, identification, and all other records to make the process as quick as possible.
The Bradford Metropolitan Council will contact the family to request more information if needed, or notify them if they have been awarded a grant or not. In almost all cases, the team at the office will provide other forms of support, such as signposting to credit or debt counselling, and other advice for addressing the hardship.
Applications for the Bradford DSP can be made online, or residents can call the council at 01274 434445. More information can be provided then.