The local welfare scheme in Lancashire is known as Care and Urgent needs support. The council relies on government funding in an effort to help the low income in the county that are threatened by a one time crisis. There are two main types of grants that eligible families can receive, and they include one for urgent needs as well as support for more long term care.
The programme was created to replace the assistance that was provided by the Department for Work and Pensions in the past. All funds provided, whether for food or other expenses, is limited and is completely at the discretion of the council. Even if they can’t assist, residents can be signposted to places for long term support in Lancashire.
Process to apply for care and urgent needs programme
The agency that runs it is the County Benefits Service. This council department is responsible the application and assessment process that needs to occur, and each person will be reviewed based on merit. The assistance is only for residents with a local connection to Lancashire and that are on a low income. Other eligible criteria in place by the Benefits Service are below.
- Income limits are in place.
- Many clients who receive a grant from the welfare scheme also are on some form of benefits.
- Applicants need to be out of all other sources of funding, including from friends and family.
- Only people with a connection to Lancashire and over the age of 16 can seek help.
- Proof of income and other need is determined, and each application will be assessed.
The council Benefits Service team will verify all of this. One key criteria is this aid is a last resort only. So the family needs to have applied for help from their district council first, or maybe a approached a food bank. They also need to have tried to work out a payment plan with your energy provider. So the council has various eligibility conditions.
Uses of grants from Lancashire support scheme
There are two types of financial help provided, if the council decides to issue an award. Both are limited and rely on government funding. The council will closely scrutinize applications as well, and only awards funds to the most vulnerable that are in financial crisis that they did not create.
Urgent bills and expenses can be paid, mostly by vouches issued directly to the supplier. This is short term help, and will mostly be issued if the individual is faced with a safety or health issue if they are not assisted. So grants may be issued for the following.
- Food parcels to stop hunger. Or if direct items are not available, then vouchers are issued to local Lancashire food banks.
- Clothing and white goods.
- Help for fuel and heating bills, mostly from pre-paid cards.
- Other urgent needs can be addressed by signposting to other agencies, such as charity shops, appliances, furniture re-use organisations, and other household items.
Assistance for Care is available from the Lancashire support scheme. This is mostly for people impacted by a disaster, such as a fire. Or it can help them people leaving a hospital or nursing home. Care awards from the Lancashire welfare scheme can provide furniture, information on rent deposit schemes, and other costs to help tenants set up a new home. The aim is to help the resident remain living independently.
One benefit of the Lancashire care and urgent needs support scheme is the council will put the applicant into position for long term advice and support. The team will signpost the individual to agencies that offer advice, ranging from assistance on budgeting to dealing with debt arrears.
Applications can be found by calling the Lancashire County Benefits Service at 0300 123 6735. As noted, the assistance is for people with no other resources available to them for the crisis they are facing.