The welfare scheme in Medway is provided as a discretionary programme for families or individuals on a low income and in a crisis. Based on an assessment done by the council, they can provide residents with a combination of resources, ranging from grants for basic needs to signposting to other charities or government benefits. No matter what the need is, any emergency assistance from the welfare provision is a last resort and applicants need to be out of all other options.
Medway has set many conditions around who can apply for financial help. The aim of scheme is to help people facing an emergency, and that can include a medical situation or disaster. The council will also priortise people that are need help in resettling in the area, and in some cases the council will provide a bond or some other type of assistance for rent deposits. Other uses of government funds or for health issues, such as lack of food, or people that are threatened with losing their independence.
Welfare can help with housing and homeless prevention
Two of the objectives are to both assist families on a low income with establishing themselves, and also prevent homelessness from occurring in the Medway Unitary. This includes everything from helping tenants sustain their tenancy by assisting with rent arrears to ending rough sleeping in the district.
So the council will provide some forms of housing assistance as part of the local welfare scheme. While this will usually just be support such as furniture or advice and guidance, in some cases there may be low income loans or other funding for rental or deposit costs, including from the discretionary housing payment service. This is all done in an effort to find solutions to homelessness and provide options other than turning to payday loans and the like for funds. Residents can apply to the council for help, or locate other programmes that can assist with rent arrears payment assistance.
While the welfare is not what some people would consider to be a traditional rent deposit scheme, it can help with housing needs at the discretion of the council. They will also coordinate ongoing support for those that are resettling. Since funding is limited, the priority is for people leaving care, ex-offenders, or people in a nursing home. There may also be assistance for families that have some other exceptional hardship.
Basic living expenses and goods from Medway council
All funds and resources are limited, so the council will need to set priorities on this form of aid as well. It will normally be for families with children as well as older people, however others can also apply for help.
The basic needs that can be provided by the Medway welfare scheme include food, furniture, baby items, clothing, baby meals, and products for women. There can also be grants in the form of a small credit for utility bills. In most cases, the client is given a voucher for the items or they are referred to food banks or furniture centers.
The financial crisis grants for basic needs are only for applicants that are out of options, and clients will also need to prove their need to the council. Most applicants will also need to be on a benefit, such as Council Tax Support, Housing, or Income Support. However others may also qualify. An interview and assessment will be done by the team.
Advice in Medway
Another aim is ensure people increase their financial capability over the long term. This will, among other things, help with reducing dependency on government benefits and end the cycle of poverty in Medway. So the council will signpost clients to local charities for ongoing support and advice, on budgeting, job training, and more.
Applications for the welfare scheme are accepted Monday through Friday. Residents can call 0800 772 0525 for more information.