The Social Fund
What is the Social Fund?
In April 2013 the Social Fund was abolished and each local council has set up its own scheme to help people with one off or emergency needs.
Support available under the new scheme
Supporting Independence Scheme
The Supporting Independence Scheme provides basic household items to help people on low income:
- resettle in the community following a stay in an institution (e.g a hospital, a care home or custody)
- remain in the community rather than enter an institution
- set up home in the community, as part of a planned resettlement programme, following an unsettled way of life
Visit newcastle.gov.uk for more information. This scheme replaced the Community Care Grants which were previously part of the social fund.
Crisis Support Scheme
The Crisis Support Scheme is a payment to help you if you are in a crisis situation and there is a risk to your health and safety of that of a member of your household.
The scheme provides for:
- fuel for heating and;
- arranges emergency travel to cover short term periods
It is available to you if you have no other source of funding or financial support.
Visit newcastle.gov.uk for more information. This scheme replaced the Crisis Loans which were previously part of the social fund.
Examples of non discretionary payments and loans available from the Social Fund
- Funeral Payments which can help you with the cost of arranging a funeral. Remember to check to see whether you are entitled to receive this help before making any funeral arrangements.
- Cold Weather Payments are made automatically to people who receive benefits such as Pension Credit or Income Support during periods (seven consecutive days) of exceptionally cold weather.
- Winter Fuel Payments are a one off annual payment for people of pension age over winter.
- Budgeting Loans can help you to buy an item that you can’t normally afford. You have to repay a budgeting loan.
How do I apply for this support?
You can make an application for
- Budgeting Loans online at gov.uk
- Crisis Support Scheme online at newcastle.gov.uk.
- Supporting Independence Scheme by being referred in by an organisation such as Community Health & Social Care Direct
Where can I get benefits advice?
It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as;
- Citizens Advice Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service – have self help material on their website.
Visit newcastle.gov.uk for more benefit advice services available across Newcastle.
Other Useful Information
Last updated: August 10, 2018