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Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire welfare assistance is a support scheme to help Hertfordshire residents facing an immediate financial crisis.

This service can only be accessed once in any three month period

Please ensure you carefully read the form and complete all sections, that apply. Failure to do so will delay your application

If you are struggling with buying essentials, you can apply for a welfare assistance payment to help with living expenses such as food, gas or electricity. This is a one off payment to help you get through your crisis. 

The form should take 45–60 minutes to complete.

You will need...

  • proof of identity – either a passport, driving licence or birth certificate (for all adults included in your application)
  • proof of address – either a Council Tax bill for this year, utility bill, benefit entitlement letter or tenancy agreement (for all adults included in your application)
  • proof of savings – up to date statement or mini statement for the last 3 months for all accounts held (for all adults included in your application)
  • proof of earnings – latest payslip or most recent Universal Credit statement for the last 3 months (for all adults included in your application)
  • benefits statement – evidence of means tested benefits, for example, full Universal Credit breakdown (including the full breakdown of elements given and deductions) or Pension Credit letter, if applicable
  • an email address if you want to save and continue your application later. You'll also need one to receive updates and the voucher itself, if you're successful. If you don't have an email address or struggle with the form, call the Welfare Assistance Team on 01442 505030 who will help you complete the form.

We only accept pictures of an electronic bank statement from the bank's website if your name and address are clearly visible

We don't accept screenshots from a banking app, statements without a name or address, or statements with any information blacked out or removed.

If you don't include all the correct documents, your application may be delayed or rejected.

Once you apply, you should hear back within 1 week (5 working days).

 

Qualifying conditions

1. You must be a Hertfordshire resident when you apply. 

2. Only one successful application can be made in a 3 month period (this applies to all people included in the application) 

3. You may be able to get a local welfare assistance payment if you’re getting one of these benefits (or are likely to in the next 6 weeks if you’re due to leave care): 

  • Income support
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Jobseeker’s allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit

Or you are employed or self-employed and your net earned income does not exceed £293 per week if you are a single person, or £482 if you are part of a couple.

 

4. One of the following must apply. You:

  • are leaving residential or institutional care, eg a care home or prison
  • are being resettled into a new home by your council or a voluntary organisation following an unsettled period in your life
  • are looking after someone who is ill, disabled or just out of prison
  • need help to stay in your home and not go into residential care or hospital
  • need help because you or your family face exceptional pressure - eg because of a family breakdown or illness.

 

5. You can apply for a crisis payment if you:

  • don’t have enough money to meet your or your family’s immediate needs after an emergency or disaster
  • think there will be serious damage or risk to your or your family’s health or safety without the payment
  • there is no other help available to you.

 

Crisis payments are to help pay for:

  • food (not including alcohol or tobacco)
  • essential clothing
  • pre-paid meter fuel debt
  • some essential items destroyed as a result of disaster.

 

You need to tell us in detail about:

  • the hardship you're experiencing
  • why you aren't able to meet your expenses.

 

If you're applying for household items and you've been in receipt of the above benefits for longer than 26 weeks, you may be expected to apply to your local Jobcentre Plus for a budgeting loan or a budgeting advance (if on Universal Credit) in first instance.

Only one item of White goods may be requested in any six month period. 

Crisis payments and community care grants are discretionary. Each application is assessed on its individual merits and no two applications can be compared. Awards are also subject to overall funding limitations within the local welfare assistance scheme. We reserve the right to change the level of and reasons for awards subject to budgetary pressures.

If your application is successful

If you're successful, we'll make the award by a voucher. We may also offer a food parcel. We may also offer a food bank voucher. 

We don't make cash payments.

Any award must only be used to pay for items you have listed on your application.

If you are unsuccessful

There is no statutory right of appeal under the local welfare assistance scheme, however, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.

The request for a review should be made within 14 days of the original decision. The decision will be looked at again but, if your crisis has already passed, the payment may not be made.

Other help available

Furniture

 

Food

 

Benefits checks

 

Discretionary housing payments

 

Personal budgeting support

Are you struggling to pay your rent or Council Tax?

Are you in arrears with gas, electric or water payments?

Do you have other debts?

Are you worried about managing your money?

For free budget support, contact Hertfordshire Citizens Advice.

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