social fund

  • Funeral support payment


    Funeral support payment will be a one-off grant to help with the costs of a funeral if you are on a low income. The funeral may be of a partner, family member or friend. It could also be the funeral of a child who is still-born.

    Funeral support payment will be introduced by summer 2019 and will replace the current social fund funeral payment in Scotland.

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  • Best Start Grant


    Best start grant is divided into three separate one-off payments. These are:

  • Local welfare assistance schemes


    A local welfare assistance scheme can help you if you are in urgent need following an emergency or unforeseen event and have no other source of help. The schemes are run by local councils and they vary. You may be able to get vouchers to pay for food, fuel or clothing or bigger basic living items such as beds, cookers and fridges. You can’t usually get cash.

  • Short-term benefit advances


    Short-term benefit advances (STBAs) are small, repayable loans of future entitlement to certain benefits. They are for claimants who are in financial need due to delay in paying their benefit.

  • Sure start maternity grants – LS v SSWP [2014] UKUT 0298 (AAC)

    Last updated: January 21, 2015
    test case

    CPAG acted for the appellant in an appeal against the abolition of Sure Start Maternity grants for women who have a second child. The case concerned whether the DWP carried out an adequate assessment of the impact of the cut on ethnic minorities, who have larger families and are less likely to have received a maternity grant for their first child. We argue that the Department failed to have due regard to its duties under the Race Relations Act 1971.

  • Local Welfare Provision Consultation

    November 2014

    This week CPAG have responded to the government's consultation on funding for local welfare provision in 2015/16. You can read our response here.

    Local welfare provision (LWP) was set up by councils in April 2013 following the abolition of the social fund. The schemes help households on a low income manage one-off or unexpected expenditure, such as replacing a broken cooker or setting up home after fleeing domestic violence.

  • Policy note on local welfare assistance schemes

    May 2014

    In April 2013 parts of the discretionary social fund were handed over the local government who have been running local welfare assistance schemes (LWAS) from that point on. However, in December 2013, the government published indicative figures which suggest that LWAS will receive no dedicated funding from 2015/16.

    In September 2014, the government committed to making a fresh decision on how these schemes would be funded.

    As this policy note makes clear, CPAG has a number of concerns relating to this decision. Specifically:

  • Examples of how short-term benefit advances are claimed and repaid


    Here are examples1 of how much short-term benefit advance (STBA) you can get and how DWP can recover the loan from you.

  • Which benefits are eligible for STBAs?


    Short-term benefit advances (STBAs) are not distinct benefits. They are an early payment of a benefit that you have normally already claimed.

  • Northern Ireland


    Community care grants and crisis loans are no longer availabe in Northern Ireland but people experiencing a financial crisis can apply for Discretionary Help from the Finance Support Service.

    According to the nidirect website, Discretionary Support provides quick, short-term financial support and -