Introduction to the Welfare Benefits System

Introduction to Community Care Grant, Budgeting Loans and Warm Front Scheme

Previous issues of this newsletter have introduced some key forms of financial support provided by the welfare benefits system for people on low income (find Issue 2 of Community Advice Newsletter (May 15, 2010) in our Electronic Newsletter Archive).

This article will draw your attention to some alternative schemes for financial support.

Community Care Grant  

Eligibility:Already getting Income Support, income-related Employment and Support, income-based Jobseeker`s Allowance or Pension Credit or are about to start getting it within the next 6 weeks because you are moving out of care to live independently.  You are being resettled to a new home by a local council or voluntary organisation following an unsettled period in your life  you need help because you/your family face exceptional pressure, such as family breakdown or because one of you has a long-term illness. You look after someone who is ill or disabled, or has been released from custody on temporary licence.
Amount of Support: depending on personal circumstances.
How to Apply: download an application form  here or contact your local Jobcentre Plus to find out where to find and send your application form

This grant does not have to be paid back!  

Budgeting Loans

Eligibility:You or your partner have already been getting Income Support, income-related Employment and Support, income-based Jobseeker`s Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks. You need help with furniture/household equipment, clothing, advance rent or removal expenses for a new home, travelling expenses, things to help you look for work, improving, maintaining or securing your home, repaying debts you took to pay for any of the above.
Amount of Support: between £100 and £1500 (depending on your marital status, financial situation (ability to pay the loan), your savings
How to Apply: Contact local Jobcentre Plus or Pension Service to request form SF500

This loan has to be paid back! 

Warm Front Scheme      

Eligibility:You need help with covering costs for heating or insulation improvement work in your home.  You get Working Tax Credit (with an income of less than £15 460 and which much include a disability element) and/or Child Tax Credit (with an income of less than £15 460) and/or Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Income Support (including a disability premium), Housing Benefit (including a disability premium0, Council Tax benefit (including a disability premium), War Disablement Pension (including a mobility supplement or Constant Attendance Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (including Constant Attendance Allowance).  You are not getting any benefits yet but might qualify for some.  You are aged 60 or over and get Pension Credit/Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or Income-based Jobseeker`s Allowance.  You have a child under 16 or are pregnant and have a maternity certificate MAT B1 and get Income Support, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit. Income-based Jobseeker`s Allowance or Pension credit.
Amount of Support: You will be entitled to get between £3500 and £6000
How to Apply: call the Warm Front Scheme Manager on FREE phone line 0800 316 2805                          

! You can check your eligibility for different benefits by consulting the following online Benefits Adviser.

This artcile has been publiched in Issue 4 of Action for Social Integration’s Community advice E-Newsletter, July 19th 2010
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