Families facing a crisis in Solihull can turn to the council for support. Residents that are on a low income and threatened with exceptional circumstances may receive financial assistance from the local welfare scheme, and the council may combine that programme for paying bills with Discretionary Housing Payments or referrals to charities.
Each one of these services from the council is aimed at addressing a certain need. For example, rent arrears can be paid by Discretionary Housing Payments, while health and safety (such as food or clothing) is covered by welfare. If the Solihull Council can’t provide the family with an award from these or other programmes, then referrals may be provided to local charities or other government benefits.
Financial assistance available from the Solihull Council
Welfare is the safety net scheme that is provided to the vulnerable. It replaced the central government funding that was part of the social fund, however the scope of the aid provided and terms are different.
Low income individuals in an emergency can apply for a crisis voucher. This is for unexpected financial hardships and is not for Solihull residents that are in never ending poverty. So the type of help provided by local welfare can be voucher for a local food bank, clothing, or if an elderly person is cold, then a pre-paid fuel card may be offered for heating costs. There will never be cash provided, but rather the goods themselves or a voucher is given out.
Community care is a part of welfare that is around resettling and moving, as well as homeless prevention. There may be furniture given to people leaving care, or that are in danger of leaving the city of Solihull without support.
Any assistance from welfare is very limited, as it depends on central government funding which can change from year to year. It is also a scheme of last resort for the low income, so people need to have sought help from friends, family, or charities first. Another aim is to help individuals faced with a health or safety crisis, and the council is under no obligation to provide any financial assistance to anyone. Awards also also limited to at most two during a 12 month period of time.
The council will also set priorities on who can get help. All applicants need to be aged 16 or older and have a local connection. The aim of welfare is to help people with a safety issue, but this can also include the disabled or women escaping from domestic violence. There are other criteria in place as well.
The council will notify people of the results of their application. If they were denied a grant, then referrals to other services are provided. If an award is being given out, then the applicant will be notified of the voucher being provided and what it pays for or covers.
Additional help in Solihull
If a resident is not provided an award from welfare, they still have other options available to them. There are local food banks, charities for free items or financial support, Citizens Advice, and much more. Also, the council will try to signpost people to these other options, or the council may help the family apply for aid.
One programme, Discretionary Housing Payments, or DHP, are focused on rent arrears and eviction prevention. This is short term relief, and is separate from any welfare grants. The aim of DHP is to help Solihull residents that have a short fall in their housing benefits and need one time help for moving, rental payments, or maybe even a deposit.
There are also national and local grants for free stuff, bill paying help, mobility issues and so much more. The Solihull council can be a resource for these. They can help with form filling or guide families through the process. they also have information on all of these schemes. Find more details on help from grants to pay bills.
Two other schemes encouraged by the council are Department for Work and Pensions advances (call 0845-6088648) as well as charitable funds. Also, note that if applying for the local welfare scheme, the council will require people to have explored these options first. This is the case as any grants from welfare are as a last resort only. To learn more on charities that can help with a hardship, call 0808 802 2000.
Applications for welfare can be done online, or people can drop in at the Solihull Council office to speak to a customer support worker.