Changes to Social Fund from April 2013

From April 2013, community care grants and crisis loans from the social fund will no longer exist. The Government will give money which used to pay for these schemes to local authorities. Local authorities may choose to run a replacement scheme, but they won’t have to and they won’t have to give out cash loans. They may choose to put the money towards supporting existing local schemes, such as foodbanks, schemes which provide subsidized furniture and white goods, credit unions and homelessness prevention schemes.

Those requiring help in Suffolk should first approach agencies with whom they are currently in contact, such as SNAP/CARA, Anglia Care Trust, Local Authority housing advice services and Childrens Centres etc.

If claimants are waiting for their first benefit payment then they should contact DWP and will be considered for a short-term benefit advance if appropriate. Where claimants need short-term benefit advances, DWP should be paying them.