Families in the Kirklees borough facing an emergency can seek help from the local welfare provision scheme. This was created by the council to assist residents that are threatened with health or safety crisis as the result of a one-off emergency, and the support from the council can provide short term relief.
Not only can welfare include food or furniture being provided to the claimant, but the council also provides advice to people such as on job training or debt advice. They will also help with applications for other benefits, such as rent payments from DHP, and all of this and more is provided to people on welfare. So the scheme in Kirklees is combined with many other services in an effort to address the emergency and also help the person escape poverty.
The welfare provision in the borough is intended to assist those in an immediate need and that are facing an exceptional hardship. All funds are provided at the discretion of the Kirklees Council, and only vouchers or other non-cash support is given.
While the local authorities created this scheme to replace Community Care Grants and other loans from the central government, the programme is not quite the same. Not only are funds limited, but the eligibility and application process is different. Much of the support is also provided as advice instead of direct financial assistance.
After applying for help, the local welfare provision team may issue a family a free food parcel to ensure hunger is prevented. Other support may be white goods or furniture, such as a bed. Applicants need to be on a low income, out of options, and can only seeking help from welfare a limited number of times.
A key part of this welfare scheme is the advice provided by the council, and this is important as it addresses the cause of the problems. Counsellors may offer debt advice or other support to clients. There is also referrals to services ranging from job training to budgeting workshops. The council can also help people apply for additional government or charity programmes, as noted below.
Referrals from local welfare provision
In a crisis, other financial aid may be provided too, and this is often combined with the Kirklees welfare scheme. There is everything from signposting to a charity to vouchers for a box of food from Trussell Trust. These are separate programmes, but they too may be able to help the low income.
Rental assistance is available from discretionary housing payments. This is only available for people in a shortfall, which means their housing benefit is not enough to pay the entire amount of their monthly rent. So this help from DHP in Kirklees is for future housing expenses and is combined with either welfare payments and/or benefits.
The Kirkless council will work with tenants on dealing with rent arrears if it can prevent homelessness. So the DHP programme will be used for some of the housing payments, and then welfare can provide other assistance that may be needed, such as furniture for their home. So the two schemes are combined together, or if these are not options to the tenant, then find other agencies that can help with rent.
In addition to the parcels of groceries or maybe a voucher to a food bank, the council will help residents determine if they are eligible for free school meals. This can also help families and especially children by preventing hunger and other challenges.
The main telephone number for the council is 01484 414950, and a customer service team will answer questions on welfare, housing benefits, and other support. The hours are 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Or the main office of the council is at Customer & Exchequer Services, Huddersfield, HD1 9SR.