Local Welfare Provision

From 1st April 2013 the Welfare Reform Act abolished Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants administered by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

As an alternative, the DWP gave funding to local authorities to provide a new Local Welfare Provision, however funding was only provided for two years and there is no statutory requirement for Councils to provide a scheme.

On 1 April 2013 Sandwell Council introduced a Local Welfare Provision Scheme (LWP).

The scheme aims to provide support where:

  • A household does not have enough resources to meet an urgent need or crisis that poses an immediate and substantial risk to their health and safety. A crisis is an urgent need because of an emergency, disaster, unforeseen circumstance or a pressing need that is strikingly different from the normal pressures associated with managing on a low income.
  • Someone is leaving care and needs essential household items to establish themselves in the community
  • Someone needs essential household items to set up a home as part of a planned resettlement program.

The scheme is purely discretionary and people have no automatic right to an award.

To be able to get assistance through Sandwell’s LWP scheme, customers must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Have been living in Sandwell immediately before requesting assistance 
  • Be receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Income Support 
    • Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Pension Credit (Guarantee Element only).
    • Universal Credit – Where you qualify for the full Allowance (i.e. There are no deductions for employment)

We cannot normally award LWP if your benefits have been delayed or sanctioned unless there are exceptional reasons.

Sandwell’s LWP scheme can provide help with the following:

  • Food – This will be a food voucher that can be used at one of the local food banks and gives emergency provision for three days 
  • Fuel – This will be a pay point voucher for pre pay meters only and gives emergency provision for three days 
  • Travel – This will be a payment voucher for one to three days travel in the West Midlands area only 
  • Furniture / White Goods – All furniture will be good second hand furniture except for white goods and mattresses. These goods will be provided by one of our voluntary sector suppliers.

We deliver support through the voluntary sector in order to be able to help as many people as we can.

Each claim is restricted to no more than two awards within a rolling 12 month period.

To request help through our LWP scheme please call into one of the Housing Services Centres where a member of staff will be able to complete a referral.

Contact us at: lwp_operations@sandwell.gov.uk

The Council has a Local Welfare Provision policy which is reviewed every year.