Residents of Walsall borough that can no longer get central government Community Care Grants or Crisis Loans welfare payments can now get assistance for paying their bills from another scheme. The council has created a programme that can help people in an emergency or that are living in poverty. Each application for financial aid to will be considered based on its merits.
The Crisis Support Scheme (WCSS) is being used to fill the needs of individuals on a low income in the future. Different types of assistance are provided, but the council will not provide cash. Instead there will be vouchers or pre-paid cards provided to pay for everything from food to energy bills to clothing, nappies, and white goods. All of this welfare assistance also provides free advice to the client on managing their money or reducing their debts.
The Walsall welfare scheme not only provides the crisis grants for paying bills, but there are other safety net programmes provided. A holistic approach is taking to help the family overcome their hardship and exit poverty. Some of the other assistance programmes combined with welfare include the free school meals service, housing benefits for paying rent, referrals to food banks, and council tax reduction schemes. There are others as well
Forms of help from WCSS
More information on the criteria to apply for a grant is below. Families on a low income, in a crisis, in which the council approved the application can be given the following.
Community Care Awards in Walsall are used to keep the family housed in the borough. Or it can assist people resettling. So most of the aid is around housing and basic needs. There can be goods given to them such as free beds, white goods, heating units, utensils, or couches. Other community care items also can be provided by the Walsall council at their discretion.
The aim is to help the Walsall family improve their living condition. Maybe they need appliances for their flat, or would leave the area if they do not have furniture. Or maybe they are older or sick and need support. The awards can help these individuals.
Walsall Crisis Grants are normally provided to pay for more living expenses. But for those that are eligible, cash is not given. Instead the applicant will be provided with a voucher or pre-paid card. Or the specialist at the authority can link them to a better option, such as Fast-Tracking housing benefits for their rent.
The WCSS emergency scheme can provide free food to those that are hungry. Or during the winter, energy bills can be paid with a pre-paid card. Other Crisis Awards can be a ride to a hospital, baby nappies, and deposit help. The budget given to the council for the welfare scheme is limited, so the grants usually are used up early.
The Crisis Awards provided by the council are at their discretion. Households in the borough are not entitled to this form of assistance. There is a priority given to people that have a health or safety issue if they were not to get help from the council. Also, applicants can be given grants from welfare if they have no access to essential needs, such as heating during the winter, food, or clothing; if they are threatened with domestic violence; or if there is a breakdown of a family unit.
Financial help from WCSS will be given to people with no other access to money for their bills. They need to have applied to charities and asked family or friends for money first, before the Walsall Council will consider an application. Also, the applicant needs to be local to the area for at least 6 months.
The Walsall Crisis Support Team has a post of Benefit Services, Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall West Midlands, WS1 1XU. Or call the agency at 0300 555 2856.