In a limited number of hardship cases, the Lincolnshire Community Assistance Scheme may be able to provide help to families facing a crisis. There are many eligibility conditions in place, and the scheme is only provided as a last resort for those essential household items and bills when the resident is out of all other options.
Any financial aid from the scheme is at the discretion of the Lincolnshire council, and there are no guarantees to receiving support. Some of the expenses that can be paid are below. If the authorities can’t help, then they may signpost individuals to other resources, such as a local food bank or a charity scheme.
- Housing payment can be made by the LCAS scheme. The only assistance will be one off payments of a weeks rent may if a customer is facing eviction and needs money to secure a new property after an unexpected move, as the result of a crisis.
- Furniture, including bedding and fridges.
- Basic needs such as food, clothing, and personal hygiene products.
- Fuel and utility bills if the household is threatened by a shut off, with priority on heating costs during the winter.
- Other bills and expenses can also be paid at the discretion of the council, as funding and resources allow.
- Essential travel for an illness. (Note that if someone needs travel to a job interview, DWP’s Flexible Support Fund may help.)
In addition to emergency help from LCAS, the council will also refer people to other organisations for long term support. Social workers can provide free advice on problems such as debt arrears or budgeting support. They can also help resident maximise their income from job programs and other guidance.
Eligibility for the Lincolnshire scheme
Any support from the Lincolnshire Community Assistance scheme is only available as a last resort. The applicant needs to have requested help from friends, family members, and other sources before seeking assistance from the county council. They also need to have applied to other charity schemes or government agencies first, and proof of this is needed.
As an example, in order to get help with the payment for a rent deposit or some other housing payment, the individual needs to meet all eligibility conditions and they also need to have called their local housing department first. They also need to have applied for a loan at the credit union, or called upon work and pensions agencies. Only if the applicant is out of options, including having done that and more, may the Community Assistance Scheme assist them.
There are many other conditions in place by the county. The applicant needs to be low income, and also on some type of benefits, such as welfare or receiving disability payments. There is also a minimum age requirement of 16. The council can review eligibility criteria with the applicant.
Any funds from the Community Assistance Scheme are only for people facing an exceptional hardship or emergency. This is not for people that are always battling poverty and have chronic financial problems. LCAS is intended to provide one time help for residents so they can get back on track and stable.
Since cash is so limited, in many cases the council will partner with other organisations as part of Community Assistance Scheme. How this works is if an applicant is approved for a grant or other support from the welfare schem, but maybe they need food, then a voucher may be issued. Or if the person needs household items, then referrals may be made to a recycling center in the area. Most of these services are coordinated by Lincolnshire Learning Communities or other agencies.
To apply, call 0300 7900152. As part of the application process, the council will verify all of the applicants information, such as income and more. They use council tax records and other information systems.