On 1 April 2013, the Government abolished the Social Fund and asked local authorities to set up replacement schemes for Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants. On 25 February 2013 the following schemes were approved by the council:
- Crisis Support Scheme (CSS) to replace Crisis Loans (more information below).
- Supporting Independence Scheme (SIS) to replace Community Care Grants.
Crisis Support Scheme (CSS)
This scheme is being administered by the Revenues and Benefits team and to qualify you must:
- have suffered a disaster or crisis; and
- have a risk to the personal health and safety of you or a member of your household; and
- be unable to secure funding from any other source.
Crisis Support will cover the provision for food, clothing, fuel for heating and expenses for emergency travel to cover short term periods of crisis or disaster. There are no cash payments available and the value of support given will depend upon the needs of person making the application. The scheme is intended for people with no access to funding or support from any other source. A full list of criteria can be found in the document below.
You can make a claim online for Crisis Support. If you have any difficulties completing your online application form, you need to take a note of your 8 letter reference and call 0191 278 7878 and ask for Crisis Support.
Please note there is no out of hours service for Crisis Support and a decision on an application will only be made during opening hours. Applications received before 1pm will have a decision made by 5pm on the same day. Applications made after 1pm will have a decision made by 10am the following working day.
Crisis Support Scheme exclusions and eligibility (pdf, 87Kb).
There will be a maximum of three awards given within a 12 month period and we will monitor all applications, and where necessary direct to alternative support services to prevent on-going crisis or disaster.
Crisis Support is not available if:
- You are awaiting an award of benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and there is a delay and you have no money. In these circumstances you can apply for a short term benefit advance which was called a benefit alignment payment. To do this you need to contact the DWP on 0845 608 8637 and select the option for the benefit you are waiting for. You must tell the DWP that you require a short term benefit advance not a crisis loan. More information on Short Term Benefit Advances (pdf, 60kb).
- You require a budgeting loan or budgeting advance. If so, please contact the DWP on 0845 603 6967. A budgeting loan will help to pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts and the smallest amount you can borrow is £100. More information and apply online.
Read more information on the Crisis Support Scheme (pdf, 338kb).