Using central government funds, the Bromley Welfare Fund scheme provides grants to families that are in a crisis. The council may offer vouchers, pre-paid cards, or the items directly to the individual, and they will help pay for living expenses such as food or clothing, or in some cases fuel bills. The aim of any support from the council is to provide short term help to address the crisis while the household works to address the cause of the hardship.
There several goals of the fund, and they include the following. Note all assistance is provided at the discretion of the local authorities, and residents are not entitled to receiving any form of help. Also, the authorities will only assist those with no other options available to them. The London Borough Bromley council will:
- Assist people with remaining in the community, or establish themselves. There is where providing furniture or white goods can help.
- Address people under exceptional financial pressure and facing a one-off crisis, and the council can offer free food or a pre-paid card for heating arrears. This is combined with advice on budgeting.
- Help people care for children or an older person.
- The Welfare Fund scheme can assist those in a disaster too, such as a fire, with replacement furniture, appliances, or clothing.
Uses of vouchers from BWF scheme
The Bromley council Welfare Fund scheme will issue either a pre-paid card, bank account credit, voucher, or the direct provision of goods as a form of award. Each case will be assessed for the most appropriate method of payment. But cash will rarely, if even, be issued.
For example, if a low income family is facing a disconnect of their heat in the winter, a pre-paid card may be issued for any bills due. Or a household in Bromley threatened with hunger will be provided a voucher to a food bank in the borough or London, or those threatened by homelessness will have a credit applied to the landlord. The main forms of assistance are as follows.
- Clothing, including coats and footwear.
- Furniture, including beds, bedding, curtains, fridges, and similar goods.
- Appliances such as fridges or cookers.
- Living expenses and household bills, such as hygiene product, grants for pay as you go fuel meters, groceries, nappies, and food parcels.
Most of the grants will be issued will be in the form of vouchers, money via BACS transfer, or PayPoints. In some cases a credit will be given directly to a company or supplier, such as landlord or fuel company.
Application process for welfare in Bromley
All funding is limited, and it relies on central government money and what is available as part of the welfare scheme. Many families across the London Borough of Bromley will not be given an award, and all grants are provided at the discretion of the council.
There are many conditions in place when applying for welfare, and each application will be assessed based on merit. The Welfare Fund Scheme is only for people over the age of 16, on a low income, and that have no access to savings or other forms of help. The council will decide who to help and any assistance is at their discretion.
In an effort to reduce fraud that often takes part in the welfare application process, and because funds are so limited, the council may request reasonable evidence of the hardship from the individual. This will be required in order for the council to provide a grant, and the authorities will often verify the information as well. They may verify information with government agencies, external organisations, or even people from the community as part of the BWF application process.
Any help from the Bromley Welfare Fund grant scheme is a last resort as well. So in lieu of assisting a resident, the council may instead direct people to Short Term or Budgeting Advances or loans issued by the Department for Work and Pensions. Or they may signpost a household to charities in the borough for everything from food to schemes for rent and housing payments. So all local resources will be reviewed as part of the scheme.
So, the process is strict and the programme is discretionary. The council will also tell people what bills or expenses the person can use the grant for, and the individual needs to abide by this. For applications to the BWF welfare scheme or to apply for help or even a referral to other support, call the council customer service team at 0800 8595922. Or people can use a computer to apply online.