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We have a Local Welfare Support Scheme (LWSS) that may be able to help vulnerable households in London Borough of Merton if they are at risk to their health or safety or need help to re-settle or remain in the borough.
LB Merton’s Local Welfare Support Scheme (LWSS) exists to support Merton residents with short term severe financial difficulties. The scheme allows us to consider awarding grants. These grants do not have to be paid back
Not everyone will be awarded Local Welfare Support. The funding available to meet needs is very limited. Once the fund has been distributed no further funds will be available so the Council will have to exercise considerable discretion.
Applicants have to show that receiving this support is the only way that serious risk to the health or safety of them or their family can be avoided or the only way that they can remain or establish themselves in the community. It is expected that residents will have taken steps to make sure they have at least a small amount of funds to see them through a small emergency, however, we will consider applications from people experiencing unforeseen or major crises.
Our criteria are designed to help those who are at the highest risk of a serious health deterioration or threat to safety or welfare.
We are most likely to support residents who:
The Local Welfare Support scheme’s aims are to provide short term support by way of a grant to:
The aim of the scheme also includes supporting residents in managing their budgets and debts through financial and budget management awareness. It also places expectations on applicants to take steps to prepare for emergency events and prevent further applications for support.
To be eligible you must satisfy all the following four criteria:
1. Age - Applicants must be aged 16 or over.
2. Residency - Applicants must:
3. Income - Applicants must:
4. Risk and reason - Applicants may request support because:
NOTE: we will expect applicants to provide proof their eligibility to apply. See Proof we need for more information.
Even if applicants are eligible to apply for Local Welfare Support, they may not be awarded the support. If they are eligible to apply under the criteria above they will not be awarded Local Welfare Support if they (or their partner):
Local Welfare Support may only be given in the following ways:
Food, heating and hot water are considered essential items to keep people safe and healthy. Grants may be awarded for food and gas and electricity if an applicant can demonstrate that an unexpected event has happened which means they have no money to pay for these items. We expect the applicant to be liable for the payment of the bill.
Essential household items can be awarded where a person is re-settling in Merton following a stay in temporary accommodation, hostel, refuge, hospital, residential care home or custody.
Residents are expected to prepare for the eventual requirement to replace essential household items by saving for this. We will not replace items that have stopped working through normal wear and tear. However, we may also replace essential items following a disaster or unexpected event that could not have been anticipated.
When deciding an application for Local Welfare Support, we will want to know whether the you or your household have any other possible sources of help to cover the costs of the crisis. If you do, then the amount of money you may get will be affected. You may either get a reduced amount, or may not get any at all. You will be asked, as part of the application, about such sources of money or support, for instance:
You can apply for help to pay for a funeral, if it is reasonable for you or your partner to take responsibility for funeral costs and you are getting any of the following:
Sure Start Maternity Grants
You can get £500 to help towards the costs of having a child and you have no other children in your family. To qualify you must also get one of these benefits:
These are designed to help pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts. We will check if you are eligible to apply for one before you apply for LWSS and will need to see the outcome of the application before making a decision on a claim for LWSS.
The smallest Budgeting Loan amount you can borrow is £100 to pay for:
To qualify you or partner must have been getting one of these benefits for at least 26 weeks:
Short-term advances and hardship payments
If you are awaiting your first payment of a benefit you can get an advance if you do not have money for short term living expenses. For more details about a short term advance and hardship payments speak to your Jobcentre Plus office.
If you have the following available to you it is expected that you will approach these sources first:
We use Housing Benefit claims, Council Tax accounts. Electoral roll, Department for Work and Pensions records and other data sources held by the Council to check the information declared.
If you are not eligible to get help under LWSS there may be other sources of support available. These are listed below:
Faith in Action - If you are homeless, FIA runs a twice-weekly Drop-in centre for homeless people at the Salvation Army Citadel in Kingston Road, South Wimbledon every Wednesday and Friday.
Wimbledon Guild - Small Grants
The Guild grants programme is designed to assist people who are in need and have exhausted all other avenues of help; grants are generally modest (up to about £250 for white goods and about £75 for school uniforms). The committee may, also, approve a contribution towards a larger request providing that balances are forthcoming from other funders. Examples of recent awards include replacement cookers, children’s clothing, essential school field trips etc.
They also give second hand goods free
All families must meet the following criteria for their application to be considered.
1. The family is on a low income
2. The family has not been on holiday for the past four years
3. The family has at least one child between three and 18 years of age
4. The family has been referred by a referral agent e.g. a health visitor, social worker, housing association, school, support worker, etc.
Eligible items: Items requested must be essential and critical to the well-being of the child/young person. Cash grants provide necessities such as beds, bedding and essential items of furniture and household equipment.
Eligibility: To be eligible for The Frank Buttle Trust or BBC Children in Need grants, children and young people must be:
Christian Care – will sometimes provide new or second hand items
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher
The Trust awards grants to individuals and families to:
Turn 2 us – huge database of charities and grant awarding trusts
Gives money to help people who have less than £4,000 in savings and, lacking enough household income, manage a bare hand-to-mouth existence. By giving just that little bit more money beyond State Benefit provision, Aims to help people whose former careers have been interrupted or ended through circumstances beyond their control: physical or mental illness, redundancy, family breakdown, or those struggling on low income in retirement.
Address: Hythe House, 200 Shepherds Bush Road, W6 7NL
Phone: 0800 413 220 (24 hours)
To apply for a grant as part of the Local Welfare Support Scheme, please telephone 020 8274 4908 between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Residents who do not have access to a phone may use the phones available at the Civic Centre, Merton Libraries or Council Offices to phone the LWSS.
Residents who are unable to use a telephone (for example they have a hearing impairment) may ask staff at Merton Link at the Civic Centre, Merton Libraries or Council Offices to phone the LWSS. They can also ask a social worker; a case worker from Merton or another organisation or their own representative to call and make an application on their behalf.
Merton staff who are assisting clients can access an on line application form on the intranet. Search LWSS on an intranet search.
We do not give direct access to an application form because we want to directly assist clients and talk them through the issues they face and help them to avoid a crisis in the future. We can often identify other sources of help available and assist with applications for unclaimed benefits at the same time.
We encourage local support organisations that previously assisted clients in claiming Community Care Grants or Crisis Loans to register with Merton as a registered advisor. This will give organisations the ability to apply for LWSS grants or loans using an on line form.
To register your organisation and your staff or volunteers please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a LWSS Registered Advisor form.
If you disagree with a decision we have made on your application, you can ask for us to look at it again. Please write to us at the contact details below. You must say why you disagree with our decision. If we have refused your application for a grant to help you pay for food, heating or hot water you must tell us why you are risk to your health and safety.
Local Welfare Support Scheme
P.O Box 610
Phone: 020 8274 4908
This page was last updated on Friday 4 November 2016