Situations where a crisis loan or grant may be awarded
The categories of situation for which a crisis loan or grant will be considered are:
Help people establish in the community following a stay in an institution or care home in which they receive care, for example:
- hospital or other medical establishment
- care home
- staff intensive sheltered housing
- local authority care
- prison or detention centre
Not only must you be leaving one of these places, you must be establishing yourself in the community. One of the factors taken into account when deciding this is the length of time you were in the accommodation in which you received care. The most important factor is the level of individual care and supervision you had while you were living there.
Help people remain in the community rather than enter an institution or care home in which they will receive care.
One of the factors we will consider is how immediate is the likelihood of going into such accommodation, and whether the type of item or service you need would prevent this happening, for example:
- help with expenses for improving your home to maintain living conditions
- help to move to a more suitable place to live or to be nearer someone who will give you care and support
Help people set up home in the community, as part of a planned resettlement programme, following an unsettled way of life. For example, you may have stayed in a night shelter before you were on a resettlement programme. You are more likely to be eligible if you have had an unsettled way of life for a long time.
Help people to care for a prisoner or young offender on release on temporary licence. Support would be towards living expenses until Department for Work and Pensions benefits are awarded.
Help people with expenses to make certain journeys such as attending an interview for paid employment.
Ease exceptional pressure on you, yourself or your family e.g. following a sudden bereavement or serious accident
Emergency or disaster expenses, to avoid serious risk to the health or safety of you or your family.
The council has limited funding and to support families and individuals in most need, it is necessary to place restrictions on the amount of loan or award granted.
Depending on the nature of the application, restrictions will be placed on the duration of the support and conditions will need to be met to validate the individual's commitment to change their circumstances longer term.
- the maximum grant is set at £1,000, this is based on the understanding that this would furnish a 3 bed house with recycled or second hand goods
- applications above £350 will be treated as a loan, with the first £350 being a grant
- time of disaster/emergency - support will be calculated and provided on the basic needs required to cover short term crisis situation only
- if eligible, support will be calculated to cover basic needs until your household is next due a payment eg benefits, wages
- repeat applications - the number of awards are limited to 2 in a 12 month period and both cannot be for the same reason
- household expenses – with a possible condition to save a certain amount each week and/or open a Credit Union account
What needs are not covered by the fund?
- an educational or training need including clothing, meals and travel
- expenses in connection with court (legal proceedings) such as legal fees, court fees, fines, costs, damages, subsistence or travelling expenses
- removal or storage charges if you are being rehoused following a compulsory purchase order, a redevelopment or closing order, a compulsory exchange of tenancies, or under homelessness legislation
- domestic assistance and respite care
- any repair to council property and any repair to property of housing associations
- a medical, surgical, optical, aural or dental item or service (needs under all of these headings can be provided free of charge by the National Health Service)
- debts to government departments
- costs of purchasing, renting or installing a telephone and of any call charges
- non essential electrical goods e.g. television
- any expense which the local authority has a statutory duty to meet
- costs of fuel consumption and any associated standing charges (except in an emergency/disaster)
- housing costs, other than minor repairs and improvements
- council tax, water charges or community water charges
- daily living expenses, such as food and groceries, except in emergency/disaster situations
If you have been receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 6 months you are eligible to apply for a budgeting loan to help pay for emergency household costs such as for purchasing/ replacing white goods. If you receive Universal Credit you can get what is known as a budgeting advance for such expenses instead of a budgeting loan.
If we believe you may be eligible for either a budgeting loan or a budgeting advance, before we consider you for help under our crisis grant scheme we will ask you to show that you have applied for and been refused a budgeting loan and/or advance from the Department for Work and Pensions.