Welfare Support Team - local welfare provision
Are you struggling to meet some of your essential living costs? If you are, you may be able to apply for some help from our local welfare provision funding.
Local welfare provision, including our Local Support and Prevention Fund (LSPF), is funding managed by local authorities to help families under exceptional pressure. It can be used to help keep families together, help people to settle or remain in the community and help vulnerable people who struggle to meet their essential living costs or who have an unexpected crisis.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, the government has given local councils some additional local welfare provision funding. Some of this recent funding has been given to our Welfare Support Team, but we've managed it differently to LSPF, because these funds have had different rules.
Who can apply?
You can apply for local welfare provision support if you're:
- Aged 16 or over
- Not under immigration control (there may be some limited examples where people can get help)
- On a low income and struggling to meet your essential living costs. Essential living costs can include things like food, energy and essential furniture items, but this is not a full list. If you're not sure whether we can use our funding to help meet the cost of the item(s) you need to pay for, please call us on 0345 678 9078.
These rules may differ slightly for some local welfare provision funds.
How to apply
We realise that people may be confused about which fund to apply for, so we've made it easier - only one application is required. The Welfare Support Team will then decide on the best fund to help you. The quickest way to apply is to call us on 0345 678 9078 (and select option 2) between 8:45am and 5pm to make an application. Someone will gather some basic information from you about your circumstances (including your household, your income and savings), and ask you what help you need.
If you want to, you can download and complete an application form.Download the form now »
Please note that an online application form is under development. We'll make it available on this webpage when it's ready to use.
What happens once you have made your application?
A specialist adviser will contact you to gather more information. They may ask you for other information or evidence, such as identification and information on the money you have coming in and the money you must pay out. They may also ask you for recent bank transaction statements so that we can see what essential costs you are struggling to pay for.
We'll take your individual circumstances into account when looking at your application. If you have a support worker, it can be helpful to ask them to give us a letter or email confirming your situation, as they can sometimes provide us with more background information to support your application. This can help us to understand your situation more fully.
How do we make our awards?
If we decide to make an award, it will depend on the type of award you need and how urgently you need the help. We'll discuss this with you when dealing with your application.
Right to ask for a review
Local welfare provision schemes are discretionary, and as such there are no formal rights of appeal. You can ask us to look at our decision again if you disagree with it, if you think we haven't taken something into account or if you have new information that you think would be helpful to us. If you want to ask for a review, you need to do this in writing, within one month of the date of the decision letter we send to you. Your decision letter will provide you with more information on this.
- Debt advice and help to manage your money
- A range of support services who can help you with other personal difficulties
- Community mental health support
- Community substance misuse support
- Citizens Advice Shropshire
Cost of living help
Increases in the cost of food, fuel and utilities will affect many households in Shropshire, so for useful links, tips and pointers on where and how to find support across Shropshire, take a look at the information on our cost of living page.
We share people's concerns over the rise in energy costs. We may be able to help you if you're struggling to pay your energy bills. If you pay for your energy by a regular direct debit to your energy supplier, please contact your energy company if you're struggling to make payments, as they may have a scheme that can help you.
Other useful links:
- Keep Shropshire Warm - energy saving advice
- Community Resource - free energy saving advice
- Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills
- You can't afford to top up your prepayment meter
- What to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills
Sometimes we have special funding available that can be used to help with water costs. When we don't, you may be able to get help from Severn Trent. The Severn Trent Trust Fund (0121 355 7766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) can help people who are struggling to pay water arrears. Their Big Difference Scheme (0121 355 7766 or email email@example.com) can help people on low incomes who are struggling to pay ongoing water charges.
If you're struggling to pay your council tax you may be able to claim a reduction through our Council Tax Support Scheme, which is administered by our Benefits Service. If you need to speak to our Revenues Service about your council tax, contact them on 0345 678 9002 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to speak to the Benefits Service about your council tax support application, please call them on 0345 678 9002 or email email@example.com.
Help with your mortgage
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, Citizens Advice have some useful help if you're struggling to pay.
Help with budgeting and money
If you need help to manage your money, the following organisations may be able to help you:
- Citizens Advice Shropshire – 0808 278 7894
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – call freephone 0800 328 0006 or visit their website and click on 'I want help' for more info
- Money Helper - 08001 387777
- SUSTAIN (budgeting advice) - 01743 285159
- Budget Builder - The Money Charity - please note that the council can't back this service, but it is a choice for people to use for help with budgeting
If you'd prefer to look into how you can manage your money yourself, the following websites may be able to help you:
- Money Helper for helpful information and tips, including their budget planner
- Citizens Advice Shropshire have some really useful information on their website, including information on debt and money and their budget planner
- Money Manager for universal credit claimants (Money Helper) (registration needed)
- Help to Save
- Money advice leaflet
For further support during the coronavirus pandemic, please take a look at these pages:
If you are a social housing tenant, your landlord may be able to help you:
- Connexus: Financial struggles? We're here to help
- Star housing: Financial support
- Homes Plus: Money advice
- Bromford: Money advice: Saving and budgeting
- The Wrekin Housing Group: Benefit & money matters advisors
- Sanctuary Housing - Affordable and social housing
Help to find work
We have a useful work skills leaflet that shows you the support available across Shropshire to help you find work, or to get more skilled so that you can find work. It also has information about volunteering and online work search engines. You can download this from the related documents section of this page.
For more support take a look at our 'Work, skills and money' guide
If you want to find out whether you'd be better off in work, entitled to's benefit calculator may help you to decide.