Both Local Support Payments and assistance from agencies that partner with the council are available in several boroughs. Help is available for residents of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea as well as Westminster, and the aid provided is part of the central government welfare scheme.
The assistance from LSP is only available as a last resort, and the aim is to help with basic needs or goods for people in an emergency or a crisis situation. Any assistance is at the discretion of the council. While some people will be given an award from the Local Support Payment scheme, many others will be declined. For those that are not eligible, they will be signposted to other agencies in the Hammersmith and Fulham area or other boroughs. More information on those options are also below.
Emergency assistance is for those households that may be threatened with a health or safety crisis. While this is mostly for families impacted by a short term financial hardship, there is also support from LSP for disasters. In these cases, the council will provide the family with everything from food to clothing or pre-paid fuel cards. Any assistance from LSP is one time only.
The council also partners with both foodbanks and credit unions. These are involved in the welfare schemes and may offer additional support, such as free groceries or advice on dealing with debts, to help with a crisis. The credit unions may help with budgeting or even low interest loans that can be combined with the emergency assistance.
Another use of the Local Support Payments scheme is to assist individuals with resettling or even remaining in the community. So if someone may need to leave the Kensington or Fulham borough region, or other areas that are supported, they can apply to the council for welfare.
For these applicants, the assistance from the scheme will normally be furniture, bedding, white goods, or vouchers to stores. The items can help a family establish a home in the community. The goods are normally directly provided to the family, and this is not instead of giving them cash.
Application process for Local Support Payments (LSP)
Any assistance is only for the low income and that are out of all other options. The applicant will need to prove to the council that they are under exceptional pressure, and they they also have a low income and less than £1000 in savings. Receiving benefits may also help in the application process.
The family also needs to be local to the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Chelsea, Kensington, Westminster, or Kensington. This particular programme is a little different than other welfare schemes as it covers more than one borough. Most of the other local programmes are only for one town or county.
Other eligibility criteria include the family must be either applying for a benefit as they are leaving care, or they need to be currently receiving some form of government support. To apply, ring the council at 020 7745 6464.
Since funding is limited, many residents will not be eligible for local support. In these cases the council will direct the family to other solutions. The other programmes available in the boroughs that may be able to help include Discretionary Housing Payments for rental costs. There are also many credit unions in Kensington as well as Hammersmith and Fulham that offer loans for unpaid bills, and housing teams such as the one at H&F advice can also be a resource.