THIS April, as part of the Government’s welfare reforms, Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants were abolished in favour of Local Welfare Provision, which is now administered by local authorities.
This allows councils to design the new provision according to local circumstances in order to assist those facing greatest difficulty in managing their income. Solihull Council has been given a grant by central government to make these discretionary payments.
Social Fund reform, part of the wider welfare reforms, is at the heart of the Government’s plans for localism. It is up to each council to decide who is eligible for financial assistance through Local Welfare Provision and under what circumstances an award will be made.
Solihull Council has made its own decisions and these can be found at www.solihull.gov.uk/attachments/localwelfareprovision.pdf. This gives a good explanation of the awards and how they are assessed. Each case will be treated on its own merits and all applicants will receive equal and fair treatment.
Solihull Council is committed to working with the local community and voluntary sector, the Solihull Partnership and other interested parties to facilitate this scheme.
Crisis Loan alignment payments and other Crisis Loans paid due to issues with benefit will be replaced by a new national scheme of Short Term Advances. This will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. Budgeting Loans will continue to be available until Universal Credit is fully rolled out. As people migrate across to Universal Credit, they will have access to a new system of Budgeting Advances that will replace Budgeting Loans for Universal Credit recipients.