With many central government schemes and loan programmes cut back, the Hertsmere Welfare Scheme can help fill the need. It can provide emergency financial aid for paying a wide variety of bills, including gas or electricity to help keep the lights or heat on. The council also provide free vouchers for white goods or food, linkage to Hertfordshire rent deposit bonds, as well as other support.
The assistance is for families on a low income (or benefits) who are facing even further financial hardship. They need to have no savings for paying bills or debts, limited income (from welfare or a job), and meet other criteria. There may be help from local families if their government benefits have been sanctioned or stopped. All of the financial help from the Hertsmere welfare scheme is discretionary, and the council makes an assessment to each application.
Expenses that the Hertsmere Borough Council welfare scheme can pay
The borough Hertsmere is part of the wider Hertfordshire County scheme. This means that funding and resources are offered in partnership with the county. There are various types of financial assistance offered from the local welfare scheme.
Gas and electricity bill help is provided from a free voucher from the Hertsmere Borough Council. This is funded by welfare. Families can keep their utilities on for a few days from the voucher. It also helps pensioners, the vulnerable and older people stay safe and warm during the winter months, and the gas bill help will keep their heat on for a few days.
One aim of the local authorities is to stop hunger. About 15 per cent of the children in the borough face hunger. The welfare scheme can provide, in partnership with Trussell Trust, up to 3 days’ worth of food or groceries. This can only be used once every 6 months. There is canned food passed out, such as rice, beans, bread, pasta, peanut butter, and similar tinned goods.
Welfare will require clients to get long term help. The Hertsmere Council as well as Citizens Advice Bureau work together on this service. They offer budgeting advice (for free) which can address payday loans, home mortgages, credit card debt, and other bills. Income growth is also part of this. Free debt management advice is arranged between Citizens Advice Bureau as well as the Hertsmere council.
In some cases, furniture, white goods, appliances and other items may be given out. This is not common. But the council partners with furniture recycling centres in the county on this. There will be used, or surplus items given for a new home or flat and can also be space heaters during the winter months.
There is also welfare assistance for the vulnerable in Hertsmere. This includes victims/survivors of domestic violence, older people, individuals leaving a hospital or facility, and others. The scheme will help them find and move into housing. Or get medical help from a GP or other aid.
The customer service team to ring to apply for welfare is at 020 8207 2277. The post is Hertsmere Borough Council Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 1WA.