While the Redcar and Cleveland council may be able to provide one off help from the Discretionary Social Fund, the funds are limited and can only be used for certain approved expenses. Also, a priority will be for the most vulnerable that are facing a crisis, and the scheme can assist with rent arrears for tenants facing an immediate eviction or the deposit on a new home, address health concerns, and vouchers may be offered for food banks in the Redcar and Cleveland borough.
The exact type of assistance provided by the Discretionary Social Fund will vary. Some applicants will be issued a low interest rate loan, and this is done in partnership with the credit union in Redcar, and the phone number for that centre is 01642 488227. Other clients will be provided either a grant or some type of referral to a local charity scheme. Any funds are for the low income, people with savings under £500, and the awards paid out is provided at the discretion of the council.
For applicants that are issued a loan as part of the social fund, they will be awarded up to £200, or the value of the goods or expenses that need to be paid, whichever is less. The money will need to be repaid to the credit union, and if it is not, then the council can take other actions on the applicant, including reduce future benefits. Clients will normally need to work with Redcar Moneytree and GLEN Credit Union on this process.
Bills covered by the council Discretionary Social Fund
Clients can have Daily Living Expenses paid, up to funding levels provided by the council. This form of aid is intended to address health and safety issues or a crisis, and there may be funds to pay for arrears on utility bills, transportation, health care needs, or maybe even rent to stop an eviction. This will only be an option for people with no other access to money and that are facing the crisis, such as unexpected job redundancy, a house fire, or illness.
The other form of financial aid in Redcar and Cleveland is the settlement component. This is for helping families or people resettle or get established in a new housing accommodation. So if a resident is leaving a hostel, hospital, or a temporary accommodation, the welfare programme or Discretionary Social Fund can help with moving costs or maybe a deposit.
Grants may be provided. When they are, it will be as part of government funded Settlement Grants, and they will be used for items such as beds, heating bills, clothing, or food. Other household items such as fridges or even washing machines may be provided, and the aim is to help the family get settled into their new home or accommodation. In some cases, a guarantee of the rent deposit due to the landlord may be provided, and the Council will decide what the grants will or won’t pay for.
The council will often get requests from people waiting on benefits. In those cases, the scheme can’t help, and instead referrals are provided to the Department for Work and Pensions for Budgeting Advance or other aid.
All applications for the welfare scheme are assessed by the Financial Support Team at the Redcar and Cleveland. They will grant awards or maybe provide referrals to people that are not eligible. The amount of aid provided is limited and as noted, awards are at the discretion of the council, and most of the grants are for the vulnerable in the borough. For those not eligible, they will offer referrals to a citizens advice bureau or other organisation for free advice.
There are no guarantees to receiving financial help, and proof of income, hardship, and other information is needed. The funds are usually as a last resort, for people age 16 and older, and only if the applicant has no other source of assistance, even from friends or family. If an application is falsified with the council, then the Redcar resident can have action taken against them. The customer services team can be called at 01642 774774.