Families on a low income and the vulnerable can get help from the Wakefield Local Welfare Provision Scheme. Grants can be issued to pay for bills, such as gas or heating, or it can provide needs for the home. Welfare can help a household pay for clothing, food, furniture, white goods, and more. All of the assistance is provided at the discretion of the council.
The Wakefield council will not provide cash to those that are eligible. Instead they will either be given a loan or a voucher to pay for the expenses in question. Also, welfare is for solving crisis situations when the person has no other place to turn to for help. They also need to have used all of their savings, have no friends or family to turn to, and even used Budgeting Loans first.
Types of expenses paid by welfare in Wakefield
It helps cover immediate needs of the family on a low income. Or a grant can be used to establish the resident into a new home in the Wakefield district. So the scheme can both pay some bills as well as keep families housed.
Some everyday living expenses can be covered by a welfare grant. But the financial aid will only provide short term relief. So if a family is about to have their electricity turned off, then a voucher can top up their meter for a few days. This will allow the resident time to enter into payment plans and apply for other assistance.
Welfare can provide vouchers for food parcels. The council works with Trussell Trust and charities to feed the hungry and those in poverty. There are many food banks in Wakefield that accept the vouchers from welfare, and they will provide groceries to the client.
When someone is applying for a welfare loan for paying bills, the council will require that the applicant be faced with a serious health or safety risk. So when the cupboard is empty, or if an older person is about to lose their heat during the winter, this is when welfare is most effective.
When someone needs help in maintaining, or setting up a home, then goods will be provided for this as well. The aim is to keep the person independent so they can continue to live in Wakefield. There may be essential furniture, such as beds or cookware. Other goods from the Wakefield Local Welfare Scheme include heating appliances, white goods, nappies, and clothing.
Local welfare can also be linked with other programmes. One that is often done in Wakefield is offering goods for a home using welfare while Discretionary Housing Payments assist with paying future rental expenses. This means that both one-off help is given as well as long term support.
The person will also need to answer questions on the financial hardship they have. They will also need to prove they have applied for help from a Budgeting Loan from a Jobcentre or benefit advance first. Supporting evidence is needed, and the council will require this from applicants. As welfare does not replace any central government schemes which need to be used first.
The telephone number to ring to apply is 0345 8 506 506. Or people that are local to the district can stop by the council office, and the post is Wakefield One, PO Box 700, Wakefield, WF1 2EB. A decision will be made within 5 days.