The local welfare scheme in Tower Hamlets is called Crisis and Support. The council, as well as partners that give free budgeting advice, provide families on a low income with grants for paying their bills in a crisis. The Support part of the scheme in aimed at solving long term needs, around employment, debts, housing, and other needs.
The council took over the welfare scheme from the Job Centres and the Department for Work & Pensions. But the aim is still the same, and that is to give financial help to the vulnerable, disabled, and families on a low income among others. Various bills can be paid using the grants, including accommodations (rent or mortgage), heating or lights bills, emergency transportation, food, and clothes as well. But the scheme is discretionary, and funds are limited, so only some people will get assistance.
The criteria for the Crisis and Support Grants is as follows. Applicants need to be receiving rent assistance from the local housing benefit. They also need to be referred to the welfare scheme from a social worker or a not-for profit partner, such as Citizens Advice. All applicants also need to be over the age of 16, have little savings and a limited income.
The council also partners with other organisations to provide financial help or money advice. They include loans from the London Community Credit Union (ring 020 7729 9218), as well as the StepChange Debt Charity (call 0800 138 1111). Council also has information on local charities, including the Salvation Army in London.
Types of bills paid by Tower Hamlets Crisis and Support Grants
There are two main parts of the scheme. Crisis grants help pay bills in an emergency. If someone is threatened with homelessness, the welfare scheme may pay their fuel bill or rent. Families that are low on food can get a free parcel of groceries. There are bus vouchers for work reasons, financial assistance for the vulnerable (older people or sick) and other aid.
The Crisis grants are limited in funding. The council will decide who can get paid, how much, and what the money will pay for. It is a discretionary welfare scheme, meaning people are not entitled to getting any support. But even if the council does not provide a grant to pay a bill, they may link the applicant with other social services or charities in Tower Hamlets.
Long term needs are met through support grants. They are focused on helping people live safely as well as independently. This means there may be financial assistance for someone moving from supportive housing, rent help for a women or child fleeing violence, and other grants to ensure people are safe and independent. The Tower Hamlets council always wants to provide assistance to anyone facing a safety issue.
Support Grants can also address employment as well as money management needs. If a person who is local to Tower Hamlets needs assistance in getting to an interview or job, then tokens may be given. It is providing uniforms or clothes for work as well.
To apply for Tower Hamlets Crisis and Support Grants, the benefit service department is the office to call. The telephone number is 020 7364 5001. The can not only provide information on, or applications to, this welfare scheme but they can give details on other government benefits. Callers should have their Housing Benefit claim reference, bank information, insurance number, and details on their job status. If approved, cash will be provided or money transferred into a bank account. The address is Cashier’s Office, Albert Jacob House, 62 Roman Road, London, E2 0PG.