The Greenwich Council offers support to low income families and those on benefits. This is done by offering two forms of assistance. There are payments as a form of Community Support, which is aimed at providing basic needs. The other scheme is for a crisis, and Emergency Support will help with paying household expenses. Any funds in the Royal Greenwich borough are at the discretion of the council.
The assistance will be for only certain types of needs for income eligible families. It can range from white goods or furniture to food parcels or fuel bill assistance. Other support may be made too, such as for rent deposits or travel expenses, but the council will make this determination after an assessment is done. More information on how to apply and the two schemes are below.
Household goods are provided from the Community Support scheme. This form of assistance is only for people that are on benefits, or that will start to receive them within the next six months. The benefits that may qualify someone for help in the Royal Borough of Greenwich include Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or the government’s Employment and Support Allowance.
The council will decide what type of assistance is provided. The aim is to help the vulnerable remain in the borough. Some of what may be issued includes re-conditioned furniture, such as beds. This is done in partnership with Emmaus. Other items passed out may be washing machines, fridges, clothing, baby nappies or other white goods. Or the council can help pay travel expenses for certain trips, such as for access to a hospital.
Emergency Support Payments are for people in a crisis. The Royal Borough of Greenwich is different from other authorities in that they will usually provide cash to the applicant, and the money can be picked up at a local post office.
Applicants will need to be faced with a health or safety issue, such as lack of heat or food. Or another case in which a payment is provided is for short-terms needs after a disaster. The aim is to provide the family with the support they need during the time they are faced with the crisis.
The funds will be limited, however the council can always provide more support at their discretion. As an example, a household with children may receive additional cash from the council. In general, a maximum of 7 days worth of bills can be addressed by the scheme, and the council will pay either 60 or 30 per cent of what an applicant currently receives from their benefits.
If someone is faced with an eviction, or is currently homeless, then the Emergency Support Scheme will help address rent arrears or deposit issues too. This is done in partnership with the Royal Greenwich Housing Department.
Anyone applying for help from the Royal Borough of Greenwich needs to be on a low income and have very little savings. It will normally be less than £1000 that an applicant can have available to them. If someone does not meet these criteria, an award may still be given to them, but it will be a partial amount. The applicant also needs to be under exceptional pressure and not have caused the situation on their own.
Or if the scheme is out of money, then referrals can be given to other organisations in the borough or even the greater London area. The bottom line is that the Greenwich council tries to provide some form of assistance to residents, and for more information, ring the office at 020 8921 2078.