Social Fund Reform

Changes contained in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 mean that certain elements of the discretionary Social Fund scheme will be abolished in April 2013.

The discretionary Social Fund scheme is made up of grants and loans designed to help people with the costs of expensive or large items that can be difficult to budget for people who are living on a low income.

There are currently three types of payments:

– Community Care Grants
– Budgeting Loans
– Crisis Loans

From April 2013:

– Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for general living expenses (including rent in advance) will be abolished. New local provision will be administered by local authorities.

– Crisis Loan alignment payments and other Crisis Loans paid due to issues with benefit will be replaced by a new national scheme of Short Term Advances. This will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.

– Budgeting Loans will continue to be available until Universal Credit is fully rolled out. As people migrate across to Universal Credit they will have access to a new system of Budgeting Advances that will replace Budgeting Loans for Universal Credit recipients.

As the population continues to live longer this is likely to affect many of us, or someone we know. If you think it may impact on you or someone you know please contact Nisha Laxman 01784 273 913.