Vouchers are provided to families on a low income and those in a crisis. The Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme is a service available to people local to Worcester City, Wychavon or the Malvern Hills district, and the government programme can help with paying bills along with Settlement Support.
The scheme will either provide goods or vouchers for paying living expenses. Any type of assistance is discretionary and the Worcester City Council provides this service in the area for multiple districts. All of the funding is for families in a very difficult circumstance and that have no resources available to them.
Welfare will also be provided at the same time as other benefits. As an example, Discretionary Housing Payments for paying rent, Trussell Trust foodbanks and other services are often combined with the Worcester City Welfare Assistance Scheme. Many energy providers, such as British Gas, also offer payment plans to customers that receive welfare.
Crisis Assistance – When a Worcester City are family is out of resources, and if they need help paying bills, then a voucher can be issued as part of Living Support. The council will only assist when the person has no where else to turn to for financial aid.
The Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme can pay the following bills. There may be vouchers to pay for gas or heating costs, white goods, baby milk, or food. If the electricity is to be turned off then grants can be provided from the local welfare scheme. Applications for this type of Living Support can be made at most twice every 12 months, and the calendar used is “rolling”.
As noted, white goods may be provided from the Worcester City Council Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme. There may be at most one item given every 12 months. The council may provide a washing machine, cooker, fridge, freezer, and more. Most of the white goods provided are new.
The council also partners with local charities. One key one is Trussell Trust. Local welfare may provide the family with a free, Emergency Food Voucher when they are going hungry. They can redeem this at a local centre for a parcel of groceries. Therefore foodbanks in Worcester City are also part of the welfare services.
The Welfare Assistance Scheme in Worcester City also provides Settlement Support. This will help a person on a low income as well as the vulnerable get set up in a new home or affordable flat. This means someone living a shelter, hospital, or institution can get assistance as they settle.
Every three years the client can be given furniture or white goods. The products are new, and can include fridges, beds, cookers, washing machines, freezers, couches, and more. While the goods are usually new, sometimes Second Chance Furnishing is provided. The aim is to help the person get set up in their new home, thereby freeing up their income for paying expenses such as rent on it.
Anyone applying for a voucher or help with settling needs to be on a low income and also to be claiming a benefit, such as Universal Credit, Jobseekers, or other government programme. Applications also need to be made by the support agency. The person can get a referral to a welfare grant from a care worker, local charity such as the Salvation Army, health professional or visitor, children’s centre, or a local housing service. The council will assess all applications, and any financial aid is discretionary. Families on a low income do not have a statutory right to a welfare voucher.
For more information on the welfare scheme, contact a support worker. They can discuss options for paying for housing, food, and other living costs. Another option is for individuals to call the Wychavon District or Malvern Hills District Council, or the Worcester City customer service hub can be called at 01905 722233.