Help with paying for short term bills or expenses such as rent can be provided by the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme. This government funded programme is available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the funds are provided to help those that are struggling and facing a short term emergency.
When applying, the council has two different options they can provide residents. Based on proof of need and an assessment, they include support grants or low interest, emergency loans (EL) that are funded by the credit union. What can be paid for will vary based on the type of funds provided by the scheme, and is noted below.
The vulnerable can receive help from support grants, and the aim is to help the client live independently. So the funds can be used for expenses such as housing payments, bills incurred in caring for an ex-offender, deposits that are part of resettlement, and expenses for someone who is ill.
In many cases, the support grant will be paid out using goods from suppliers and cash will not be paid out. So there may be clothing, white goods, or other items given to the person for their living expenses, and the items will even be delivered to the client. If the need is food, then the council will give a voucher to a local food bank.
Low interest emergency loans can be used to pay for daily living expenses, such as rent arrears or utility bill. It can also help keep the heat on during the winter, or pay for fuel expenses. Money from the loan can also be used for rent in advance on a new home as well as emergency travel or funeral expenses if the applicant has no other sources of funds for this.
Loans will need to be repaid, and the terms of the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme require a repayment plan to be entered into. The money is issued by the local credit union and not the government authorities. Participants may need to repay all the money, and the interest, within several months. If a payment is missed, the credit union or even the council can take legal action on the debts if need be.
When seeking help with bills from the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme, the applicant needs to be out of other resources and sought assistance from charities before requesting assistance from East Riding of Yorkshire Council. They also need to be over the age of 16. The council will give priority to people on Income Support, State Pension Credit, the Universal Credit, or that receive Employment and Support Allowance.
If the application is unsuccessful, the council will allow appeals in some cases. Clients need to provide why they deserve the assistance from the welfare scheme, and they need to make a strong case. Funds are limited, and many applications are denied by the council due to limited funds or other reasons.
Applications need to be made for the scheme, and people can stop by the council to apply or use an internet access point in East Riding of Yorkshire. If approved, the money can be transferred directly to a bank account, or the applicant will be given a voucher that they can use at a PayPoint outlet to get the funds.
To apply for the Local Welfare Assistance, call the council at 01482 394799 for an application. Other options are to apply online or drop in at the office at County Hall, Cross Street, Beverley.