Local welfare assistance is an emergency financial payment and has replaced Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans from 1 April 2013. The fund is there to help people to try to maintain an independent life or for those facing an immediate financial crisis.
As well as helping you to cope in the short term, the local welfare assistance team can also help with debt advice, budgeting and improving chances of finding a job. Your financial award may be dependent on you attending a session to help in these areas.
The local welfare assistance fund is small and limited and each case is considered on its own merits. When the money runs out for the year, no more payments can be made. That is why the council has to look at applications carefully to make sure that the money is going to people who need it the most.
Different rules apply depending on what you are claiming for, but you must be an Ealing resident and be able to provide supporting evidence to make a successful claim
Payments are made using a pre-paid card. Cards will be loaded with the value of your award and can only be used to purchase the items that were claimed for. Attempts to use the cards for inappropriate purchases will result in them being rejected. Cards can also be frozen and the money recovered if they are lost, stolen or abused. Council staff will be able to track when and where the card is used.
Discretionary housing payments and discretionary council tax discount
You can also ask for help with a rent deposit and/or rent in advance, moving costs, or help with your council tax. Discretionary housing payments can help with a rent shortfall and or arrears of rent if you are already in receipt of housing benefit/universal credit (housing costs element). For help with the above please apply for a discretionary award.