Leaders to rule on funding support for borough's most vulnerable people

Councillor Susan Press

Leaders at Calderdale Council will decide whether to allow funding to continue for a grant scheme that provides financial support to vulnerable people in the borough.

Current funding for the Council’s Local Welfare Assistance Grant Scheme, which is given to people at the greatest risk of severe financial hardship will run out in March 2018.

The Cabinet will be asked to decide whether to approve funding of £95,000 per year from April 2018 to continue to offer the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme over the next three years.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Councillor Susan Press said: “This scheme is designed to protect the most financially vulnerable people within Calderdale, providing them with a safety net if they face an emergency or crisis for which they don’t have the resources to cope.

"This could be, for example, because they’re a young person leaving care, someone leaving prison or fleeing domestic abuse.

“By providing immediate financial support we not only help support people to get back on their feet, we also prevent longer term problems from developing, such as child poverty, homelessness and mental health issues.”

The Local Welfare Assistance Scheme includes Emergency Living Support, which is currently available for any Calderdale resident aged 16 and above, who finds themselves in a situation which is out of their control and does not have the money to meet the immediate needs of themselves or their family.

It is usually awarded as a voucher for food and fuel if there has been an emergency or as a consequence of a disaster.

The grant is only awarded if no other support is available, and only if there is a serious risk to the health and safety of the person applying or to a member of their family. The support is used to cover the immediate living expenses for up to 14 days.

Calderdale residents who receive income support, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, pension credit or universal credit, may also currently be eligible for Community Living Support.

The grant provides essential household items and is designed to help people returning to their own home, for example following a long stay in hospital or to help families to continue living independently in the community, for example rather than being placed into temporary accommodation.

It may also be used to ease exceptional pressure on families or to help with some travel expenses, for example to attend a relative’s funeral or to visit someone who is ill.

The final decision on the future of the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme will be made when Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meets at 6pm on Monday November 6 2017 at Halifax Town Hall.

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