Families in Poole that are in high priority need for assistance and that are also on a low income can seek help from the Crisis Payment Scheme. For those residents that are eligible, the council will issue them a loan to address the emergency situation. The interest rate changed to the client will be much lower than alternate sources of funding, and the council may even decide that some households do not need to repay the money.
While a loan will be issued for paying priority bills, if the family only needs other household goods or food, then those items will be provided to them directly. This is done in partnership with Dorset Reclaim or local Trussell Trust foodbanks. In these cases, the applicant will be given furniture, white goods, or maybe a voucher for the food bank.
The Poole Council will only issue funds from the Crisis Payment Scheme if the applicant is qualified and if the authorities have money. The local authority does rely on the government to fund this welfare scheme, and once the money runs out each year no other residents will be able to apply for assistance.
Eligibility criteria for Poole Council Crisis Payment Scheme
First, the person needs to have applied for a DWP Short-Term Advance or hardship payment. They also need to prove to the council that they are under exceptional pressure and have no source of income or savings that they can use.
Once those conditions have been met, the council will proceed with the next part of the qualification process. This includes the applicant can’t have any other means of preventing the risk, they need to be over the age of 16, and very low income or on benefits. The applicant will need to show proof of address as well as identity, their National Insurance number and prove the crisis. Also, only certain types of expenses can be paid using the loan, and this is at the discretion of the council.
Furniture and household goods will be provided by Reclaim. This will be beds, fridges, washing machines, cookers, and the like. So the family will not need to pay for these on their own, but rather the council provided them.
Poole Council loans can be used for everyday bills and living expenses. The terms of the welfare scheme may determine the resident can use the money for heating bills or rent arrears to stop an eviction. Or a parcel of groceries can be bought.
Other expenses, such as emergency travel local to Poole or clothing may be provided too. Of course the council may decide to issue funds for any other needs the applicant has.
When applying, the money from the Crisis Payment Scheme will almost always need to be repaid to the Poole Council. This is required as the funds are a loan only. However some exceptions can be made. The council may not require the ill, disabled, or young people to repay the money. However each request is assessed on merit.
For those given a loan, while it can help postpone an emergency, the beneficiary really needs to plan for repayment of the money. However, there may also be other sources of funding for them, and this includes non-profit and government grants.
While the council will try to issue an award from the Crisis Payment Scheme with 5 days, the welfare programme is limited due to funding. Families can only apply at most three times per year. Also, the loan issued will only be for a small amount, often not to exceed £1000, however most people get much less.
To get additional information or apply, call the crisis line Monday through Friday at 01202 633713. Note any false applications will be handled using the Fraud Act of 2006.