The Cheshire East council created a local welfare scheme known as Emergency Assistance, and there may be support available in order to help the low income that are facing a crisis or people that are on benefits. The aim is to support families with a health or safety crisis, and the council may in some cases also provide assistance to prevent homelessness. This is scheme that is limited in resources and any vouchers or help provided are at the discretion of the council.
People in rent arrears, that are found eligible for Emergency Assistance, may be able to receive assistance in preventing homelessness. The Cheshire East council and the housing options team partner together on this, and all solutions, including discretionary housing payments (which are a separate programme) will be explored.
Emergency assistance can safeguard vulnerable people, and this is a key aim of the programme. This can keep them safe and healthy, and welfare may even allow the family to continue to live together. This will be help for vulnerable people under exceptional pressure that meet the guidelines from the council.
The council pays out support at their discretion, but clients will normally need to be on a low income and under pressure, such as a financial crisis. They can have applied for the Cheshire East Emergency Assistance scheme in the last 12 months, and the crisis must be one-off and not caused by saying overspending their income.
Vulnerable people may be disabled or health a mental illness. They may be on pension, homeless, or ill. Some families that are vulnerable will have a child and be on low income, but the council can go over eligibility criteria for a welfare payment.
In these situations, the goods or supplies will be provided directly to the client. So they will not receive cash, but maybe a voucher to a food bank in Cheshire East is provided, or furniture or items for a home or new flat. Any award given to the applicant will be means tested, so the amount of voucher will depend on income and other factors.
Examples of what may be provided will be furniture or cooking items from a centre, or a food parcel or voucher. Clothing, white goods, and maybe even fridges are offered. Another service provided by welfare may be referrals to a shelter. The assistance is more for basic household or living needs.
Awards from the scheme may be given to secure or retain a home, if the applicant is homeless or threatened by it. The assistance may come in the form of a bond for a rent deposit, or the council will work with the landlord of a private housing and tenant to find some type of alternative deposit programme from a charity. The council will also explore social housing in the district too as an option, or residents can locate additional ways to find rent deposit help.
No matter if a ward is given or not, the Cheshire East staff will signpost people to other advice agencies. Or applicants can get referred to other charities in Cheshire East or even maybe even Greater Manchester. The council partners with other groups on addressing poverty, and signposting is on way to coordinate limited resources.
Applications can be done over the phone by ringing 0300 123 5013. Other options for filing can be email or stop by the council office. It will take several days for an application to be reviewed, and an award provided to the family.